Construction of Enbridge Line 3 Delayed At Least One Year

Despite the odds, pipeline resistance is succeeding!

CBC is reporting that Enbridge is delaying construction of its Line 3 crude oil pipeline for a year, pending approval of state and federal permits. According to the story:

The project, which was initially expected to be in service before the end of 2019, now won’t be ready until the second half of 2020.

Coverage in Bloomberg calls it, “a major blow to the Canadian oil industry.” It continues:

The delay is a crushing setback for Canadian oil producers, who have suffered from a lack of pipeline space that has made it difficult to ship their crude to refineries, hammering prices. Enbridge’s Line 3 is particularly important because the government of the oil-rich province of Alberta was counting on its startup this year to let it end mandated production cuts that were implemented to cope with a glut of crude.

Enbridge still needs a number of permits, including approvals from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for Line 3 to cross any number of Minnesota water bodies. Technically, these are called “Section 401 permits.” Stay tuned for more information on these permits, which will be strongly contested with the hopes of stopping the project all together.

Line 3 isn’t the only major pipeline facing major delays. “Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is once again stalled as it awaits further regulatory review and TransCanada’s Keystone XL has been frustrated by court challenges,” the CBC story said.

Bloomberg adds: “The industry also has been hit in recent years by the cancellation of TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline and the Canadian government’s rejection of Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway conduit.

During Line 3’s much welcomed delay, it’s a good time to remind our state policy makers that:

  • Minnesota is shouldering major crude oil spill risks but getting little in return, while an international pipeline company would reap huge profits.
  • The climate damage from the pipeline is estimated at $287 billion over three decades
  • Indigenous communities suffer most, with wild rice and treaty rights threatened.

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