Enbridge responds to Minnesota Department of Commerce appeal and Governor’s statement
The replacement of Line 3 is the most studied pipeline project in the history of Minnesota. The MN Department of Commerce’s appeal flies in the face of the thorough review spanning four years, thousands of hours of environmental and cultural study, and substantial public comments, all conducted under the Dayton administration. Based on this exhaustive review the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously to approve the project’s Certificate of Need.
The statement from Governor Dayton today is very disappointing and erroneous. Enbridge’s expert presented multiple detailed future forecasts all of which showed demand for the restored capacity of a replaced Line 3 is needed for years to come. This included submitting a forecast that assumed 75% infiltration of electric vehicles in Minnesota by 2035.
The DOC’s claims against the project are not supported by evidence or Minnesota law. Both the Administrative Law Judge and MPUC recognized the need to replace Line 3. While the DOC indicates that current efforts to reduce demand for oil are enough to support their claims that replacing Line 3 is not needed, the MPUC’s written order begged to differ, dated September 5, 2018, “ the Commission agrees with the ALJ that the record lacks sufficient evidence of the extent to which these forces could reduce demand during the forecast period.” As the ALJ stated, ”mere statements of change… are not sufficient to negate the Applicant’s detailed projections.”
Enbridge believes the courts will reaffirm the MPUC’s process and decisions, which were made in accordance with the law based on full and complete evidence developed and presented over years of open and transparent regulatory and environmental review processes.
Line 3 replacement is needed in order to meet Minnesota’s energy needs. Replacing an aging pipeline with new, modern construction, is the safest and best option for protecting the environment and communities. The project represents a $2.6-billion private investment in Minnesota’s energy infrastructure.
L3RP has strong support from Minnesota labor, Tribes, communities, local government and businesses, more than 90 resolutions and letters supporting the replacement of Line 3 were submitted to the MPUC from federal, state and local elected officials and governments; this includes resolutions of support from a majority of the counties on Enbridge’s preferred route. The Line 3R pipeline is expected to be in service by the second half of 2019.