Line 3 Receives Army Corps of Engineers Permits

The Army Corps of Engineers has issued the final major permit needed for the Line 3 oil pipeline. According to the Star Tribune:

“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Monday issued a construction permit for Enbridge’s new pipeline across northern Minnesota, the last major approval needed for the controversial $2.6 billion project.

The Corps decision paves the way for Calgary-based Enbridge to begin building the pipeline as early as next month. It will be one of the largest Minnesota construction projects in recent history and is expected to employ 4,000 workers.”

Receiving this permit puts the Line 3 environmental improvement project one step closer to construction, although the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Public Utilities Commission still have two smaller permits to grant:

“The MPCA must still grant a stormwater drainage permit to Enbridge, a more routine approval that’s expected in the coming weeks. Enbridge is also waiting on a final construction authorization from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC), which already has approved the project.”

Enbridge is hoping to begin construction by the end of the year, but this project should have already been completed years ago. Corrosion was responsible for 20 percent of the oil spilled from pipelines in 2019, according to federal data. Replacing Line 3 years ago, not delaying it, would have been “following the science” and doing the right thing for Minnesota’s environment, and economy.

However, just because the science shows that replacing Line 3 is the most environmentally responsible thing we can do doesn’t mean the people who oppose the pipeline will be satisfied with the process. On Almanac last week, Winona LaDuke went on a fact-free rant against the pipeline, even going so far as to call the construction of a newer, safer, pipeline the “ecological equivalent of Auschwitz.”

Ms. LaDuke stated:

“So, you know, there’s some people that are up there trying to get some money because it’s a really difficult time in the north. But you know what? It’s kind of like getting a job in the gas chamber.”

“That’s a great job to have, but it’s really not the job you want to have for the long term and that’s what this pipeline is like. It’s like the ecological equivalent to Auschwitz. That’s what this pipeline is. So I don’t want to work in the gas chamber and I don’t want an Auschwitz,” she added.”

Ms. LaDuke has also stated that this pipeline will spur protests that could be as large as the protests that accompanied the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline:

“You can be sure that this pipeline project will be met with resistance,” LaDuke said during the interview when asked about the possibility of protests against the project,” according to Grand Forks Herald.

Liberal environmentalists like to pretend they are the sole curator of “the science,” but many of them are the same people who probably believe their horoscopes. Science isn’t a canon of knowledge, it is the process of elimination through the falsification of hypotheses. Opposition to the project doesn’t stem from a careful evaluation of the merits and demerits of a proposal, but an innate belief that whatever humans do to alter the natural environment must be bad for it. This superstition is pervasive, but it is not science.