Dayton’s Department of Commerce Threatens Clean Water By Opposing Line 3

Line 3 continues to be kicked around like a political football. This time the kicking is being done by Governor Dayton’s Commerce Department, which is formally petitioning the Public Utilities Commission to vacate their decision to grant Enbridge the right to replace the aging pipeline with a new, state of the art pipeline. You can read the Commerce Department’s filing here.

The pipeline was unanimously approved by the PUC after three years of deliberation. A key reason the new pipeline was approved was because the old, corroded pipeline poses a risk of oil spills. The current Line 3 is being run at half capacity as a safety precaution. The bottom line is a new Line 3 will be safer for the environment and better for consumers.

Dayton’s Department of Commerce filed their petition because they claimed Enbridge did not prove the oil Line 3 would transport was needed. This claim is laughable.

Americans use about 20 million barrels of oil every single day, and pipelines are the safest and most efficient means of transporting this oil from Point A to Point B. The fact of the matter is we either purchase this oil from Canada, our friends to the north, or we import it from countries like Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, or Venezuela. Personally, I’ll take the crude from the Canucks.

Minnesotans are incredibly reliant on oil. In fact, oil accounted for 30 percent of the total energy used in Minnesota in 2015, which means Minnesotans consume more oil than any other form of energy. According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Minnesotans used 118.4 million barrels of petroleum products in 2016. That was about 21 barrels for each resident of the state.

The Department of Commerce cannot really be serious when they say claim Line 3 isn’t needed. If they are serious, it just goes to show we need a heavy dose of reality in the State agencies to bring back a sense of pragmatism after eight years of the Dayton administration. We need newer, safer pipelines, not more risks to clean water.

Here’s to hoping the future is brighter and more sensible.