North Dakota Pipeline Paves Way for Enbridge 3

Remember the apocalyptic protests over how catastrophic the Dakota Access Pipeline would be for the environment? That was then, this is now. The pipeline just celebrated its first full year in service without a hitch. The only environmental damage done in North Dakota in connection to DAPL was the tons of trash and filth left behind by activists.

North Dakota State Senator Jessica Unruh couldn’t resist sharing the good news with readers of the Star Tribune’s editorial page.

How could we miss the anniversary for a pipeline that sparked the world’s attention for nearly an entire year before operation?

The answer is relatively simple. Pipelines, despite the propaganda against them, offer relatively uneventful daily operations. They quietly move materials like crude, natural gas, water, CO2 and refined products across the U.S. with only rare significant issues. In fact, 99.999 percent of petroleum products get to their destination without incident, and the pipeline industry has proved its commitment to making that number even better with a decline in incidents of more than 50 percent since 1999.

DAPL’s first birthday comes at a time when a similar pipeline project on the Minnesota side of the border–Enbridge 3–still awaits approval by state regulators after three years. Besides boosting the state economy and environment, the chair of the North Dakota House Energy and Natural Resources Committee argues that pipelines like DAPL and Enbridge 3 also play a key strategic role regionally and nationally.

And yet, the significance of the Dakota Access pipeline extends far beyond our state’s borders. It is simultaneously an actual and symbolic piece of infrastructure that has and will continue to better America’s economic and international strength. The pipeline generated 40,000 jobs across the country during its construction, providing opportunities for workers in construction, engineering, manufacturing, mining, energy, advanced technology and so many more industries. It alone moves 5 percent of the nation’s daily oil production and has helped to increase American energy production, thereby marginalizing the former OPEC/Russian power regime and ending their grip on American consumers.

Now a bipartisan group of four Minnesota members of Congressional delegation–Peterson, Nolan, Emmer and Lewis–has urged state regulators to make the Enbridge project happen in a Star Tribune column.

This month, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission should do the right thing to protect natural resources, bring millions of dollars to rural communities, boost local economies and provide local jobs, and provide reliable energy by approving the Line 3 certificate of need and route permit.

As members of Congress representing Line 3’s counties, its landowners, refineries and the union laborers who would be employed to replace Line 3, we believe its replacement is in the best interests for Minnesotans.

Pressure continues to mount on the MPUC to make a decision. After three years of endless meetings and expensive studies, state regulators have finally run out of options to further delay a decision on one of the most important infrastructure projects to come before the state in years.