For a great many people, work in the pipeline industry means a path to prosperity.
For Bud, decades ago, it meant freedom—the four-wheeled variety.
“That was 1960, when I helped build the pipeline (Enbridge’s original Line 3). It was fun. An experience,” says Bud. “I hitchhiked up, and I drove a car home. I made enough money to buy a car.”
Enbridge’s proposed Line 3 Replacement Project in the U.S.—a $2.9-billion private investment, with more than $2 billion of that in Minnesota—would create thousands of family-sustaining construction jobs, a ripple effect through economic spinoffs in right-of-way communities, and more long-term property tax revenue.
It would also replace infrastructure under continuous maintenance with the latest available high-strength steel and coating technology, using modern construction methods.
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is holding a series of public hearings on Enbridge’s certificate-of-need and route permit applications for the project—and Bud recently attended one of those hearings to make his voice heard.
“I came here today just because I think (there’s) a need for us to replace the pipeline. And I’m all for it. I’m all for anything that needs to be improved in our infrastructure, let’s put it that way,” he said. “Fossil fuels are going to be around for a long time, and infrastructure needs to be replaced, whether it be sewer, electric . . . pipelines need to be kept up. I think (Line 3) should be replaced.”
The Minnesota PUC’s public hearing process began Sept. 26 at Thief River Falls, and will conclude this week with hearings in Crosslake on Oct. 25 and St. Cloud on Oct. 26.
A wide cross-section of Minnesotans have voiced their opinions on the proposed Line 3 Replacement Project, including many who have testified that they believe replacing critical energy infrastructure under continuous maintenance is the right thing to do.
“Enbridge is doing the responsible thing by replacing aging infrastructure, just like we need to do for this country as a whole . . . such as highways, and other pipeline infrastructure,” testified Mel, president of a large Duluth-based oil and gas industry contractor.
“Infrastructure ages. You maintain it and you eventually replace it.”