Enbridge statement on Minnesota Department of Commerce decision to appeal Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approvals of Line 3
August 18, 2020
It is disappointing that the Walz administration has chosen to pursue an argument that has been in front of the MN Public Utilities Commission (PUC) numerous times and failed every time. The appeal filed by the Minnesota Department of Commerce is not supported by evidence or Minnesota law.
Line 3 Replacement Project (L3RP) has undergone six years of process, more than 70 public meetings, numerous comment periods, and a 13,500-page Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The project’s EIS, Certificate of Need and Route Permit were all recently reaffirmed by the PUC based on the substantial evidence in the record that this project is needed. Walz-appointed PUC Commissioner Valerie Means stated it best when she said, “The Commission’s order recognizes this evidence and states the Commission relies on long-range forecasts in a certificate-of-need analysis, because evidence of short-term fluctuations in oil markets are not particularly useful in determining the need for a petroleum pipeline.”
L3RP is an upgrade to existing energy infrastructure that will help protect Minnesota’s environment for years to come. This $2.6 billion private investment will bring 4,200 union construction jobs, provide more than $100 million in tribal employment and business opportunities, and will provide an economic boost to northern Minnesota communities at a time when they are seeing unemployment rates above 20%.
We are disappointed that a part of the Walz Administration has chosen to pursue an appeal especially when the two PUC commissioners the Governor appointed voted in favor of the project. That said, we remain confident that the courts will reaffirm the PUC’s decisions.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals will decide on the next steps with respect to the appeals, in the meantime, we will continue to pursue remaining permits with a goal of beginning construction as soon as they are in hand.