In a key win for American energy consumers and infrastructure development, the Minnesota Supreme Court this week declined to hear an appeal from opponents of the Line 3 pipeline replacement project, upholding a lower court’s June ruling to allow the construction to proceed.
Fox Business reports:
“We’re pleased with the decision from the Minnesota Supreme Court regarding Line 3’s Certificate of Need, Route Permit and Environmental Impact Statement which have been reaffirmed multiple times by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and this June by the Minnesota Court of Appeals,” an Enbridge spokesperson told FOX Business on Wednesday. “The most studied pipeline project in Minnesota history has cleared yet another hurdle.”
Enbridge maintains that the the Line 3 project is “safety and maintenance driven,” replacing an aging pipeline with a safer one made of thicker steel with more advanced coatings. In addition, the company claims it has “demonstrated ongoing respect for tribal sovereignty” while creating thousands of family-sustaining construction jobs and millions of dollars in local spending and tax revenues. To date, Enbridge says it has spent more than $287 million project dollars specifically with tribal nations, citizens, communities, and contractors.
The project is nearing completion and expected to be in service by the fourth quarter of 2021. But that hasn’t stopped protesters, with about 2,000 gathering at the Minnesota State Capitol this week. While it appears this week’s demonstration was in accordance with the law, many of the protest tactics over the past year have not. More than 700 protesters have been arrested or ticketed along the route since construction in Minnesota began last December.
The Line 3 replacement project is key to safely delivering affordable energy to consumers, bolstering the American economy, and strengthening our national security and energy security interests. Pipelines have been recognized as the safest, most efficient, and most environmentally-conscious method of transporting the oil and gas that fuels the global economy.
Relying on the Middle East for our energy needs stands to weaken our economic, security, and diplomatic interests. Rather than calling on OPEC nations to produce more oil, it is time to support North American energy development and infrastructure investment right here at home.