PUC Staff Recommends Approving Line 3 Pipeline Along Enbridge’s Preferred Route

After pubic comments overwhelmingly opposed a new Enbridge Line 3 pipeline, after the Minnesota Department of Commerce said the pipeline wasn’t needed, after the Administrative Law Judge reviewing the proposal said the costs outweigh the benefits of building a new and larger Line 3 along a new route, the staff at the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has recommended giving Enbridge what it wanted.

The Star Tribune reported on the recommendation in an article headlined: Staff members recommend state regulators approve controversial Enbridge pipeline project:

In briefing papers filed Friday, PUC staff wrote: “A fair reading of the record would support the conclusion that, with respect to effects of the [Line 3] project on the natural environment, the consequences of granting a certificate of need for the project are more beneficial than denying it because of the risk of catastrophic failure of the existing line, despite it being operated at reduced pressure.”

Comment: One has to wonder what record the PUC staff was reading.

Yes, the current pipeline is old and failing and risks catastrophic failure. But the PUC staff seems to think it is OK for Enbridge to hold Minnesota hostage under threat of spill. It buys into Enbridge’s frame of: “Let us build a new pipeline or else — or else we are going to keep running the pipeline until it fails, then it will be your fault.”

Seems like it would be simpler if the PUC told Enbridge to stop using its old and failing pipeline because it isn’t safe.

Link to PUC staff report here.

Attend the Hearings!

The PUC has scheduled a series of deliberations on Line 3, leading with a vote later this month. The meetings are Monday and Tuesday, June 18 and 19, and Tuesday and Wednesday, June 26 and 27, at the PUC offices, 121 7th Place East, #350, St Paul. The room is expected to be crowded. People will need tickets to get in. Tickets become available on the day of the hearing starting at 8 a.m.

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