WHILE CONSTRUCTION TOOK LESS THAN A YEAR AFTER SIX YEARS OF REVIEW, LOCAL BUSINESSES ARE APPRECIATIVE OF THE STATE-WIDE COALITION AND STRONG COLLABORATION THAT SUPPORTED PROJECT AND MADE SURE IT WAS A SUCCESS.
(CLEARBROOK, MINN) This week as the first shipment of oil made its way through the replaced Enbridge Line 3 system to mark the start of operations, a local business owner today thanked the statewide coalition that worked together get the project approved. Paul Gustafson, Vice President of Gustafson & Goudge said that as amazing as the construction team was, the work to get the project approved and permit was equally significant. While construction took less than a year to complete the project, the process to review, permit, and analyze the project took more than six years.
“As we look back on what has happened, I think it’s important to thank and recognize the amazing work by so many to keep this project moving forward,” said Paul Gustafson, Vice President of Gustafson & Goudge. “Today we see work done and the line operating but years ago it was a different scenario. Getting to today was a significant challenge to make sure this project moved forward against opposition that seemed almost sure they could stop it. I cannot thank everyone who worked so hard enough for what they helped us all accomplish.”
The Line 3 Replacement project is the largest, privately financed construction project in Minnesota history. The process to replace the aging part of the regional energy infrastructure was started during the Obama Administration via a consent decree. Enbridge invested more than $2 billion for just the Minnesota portion of the project that employed over 5,000 workers. Direct and indirect spending for the project helped lift the economy across Northern Minnesota at a key time following the pandemic.
“For our business and many others, Line 3 not only created an immediate benefit, but it will also have a lasting and positive impact,” Gustafson said. “In a time where it seems like so many things do not get approved or completed, the fact that construction is just about done and the line is in operation is amazing. It was not easy, but the fact so many people worked together over a long time made the difference and we cannot say ‘thank you’ enough.”
After more than six years of review and permitting approvals, construction work started in December of 2020 and was primarily completed in September. The replaced Line 3 is now called Line 93 and represents a significant upgrade of the line that has restored its ability to safely move oil to what it was originally able to deliver. The new line is thicker and stronger with additional environmental protections. Restoring the line to its original capacity will decrease the need to use less-safe ways to transport oil and related materials as the country continues to transition to a more renewable energy-focused economy.
Construction of the line came at a key time as the region struggled with issues related to the economic impact of COVID. The Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) at the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Labovitz School of Business and Economics concluded via their analysis that the project would create approximately 8,600 jobs and will represent an investment of over $2.0 billion in the 15-county study area in the northern portion of the State of Minnesota.
“Today far too often it seems it’s easier to be against something instead of being in support of something like this project,” Gustafson said. “With Line 3, there were people in every single county across Minnesota coming together to support the project through the approval process and during construction. They were joined by mayors, city councilors, county board member, state legislators, members of Congress, and others who continuously spoke out on behalf of this project to share the numerous benefits this project supplies to our state and communities. It was amazing and shows others what we can do when people come together.”
Contact: Susan Goudge
Susan@Minnesotansforline3.com | 218-556-3617