Check your facts, Forbes: Our Line 3 replacement is built on Indigenous engagement

Pipeline project includes training, contracting, capacity building and community sustainability on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border

An article published by on Monday, April 22, 2019 provided readers with an incomplete and misleading portrayal of Enbridge’s approach to Indigenous engagement on the Line 3 Replacement project.

In fact, through intensive engagement with Indigenous groups and communities in both the U.S. and Canada, we have reached many agreements ranging from pipeline route, economic benefits, training, environmental stewardship, renewable energy projects, Tribal cultural properties surveys and more.

Over the past year in Minnesota, Enbridge reached various agreements related to Line 3 Replacement with all three of the Tribes whose reservation land is crossed by the original Line 3. We reached agreements with:

  • the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa allowing Line 3 Replacement to cross its Reservation;
  • the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe on deactivation and removal of the original Line 3 and renewable energy development; and
  • the Red Lake Nation’s Oshkiimaajitahdah Institute of Technology on workforce development.

From a jobs perspective, Enbridge is also encouraging Tribal economic participation on the Line 3 replacement in Minnesota. We're targeting $100 million in spending that focuses on project-related training, contracting and hiring from Tribes—much of it to be spent in Minnesota.

In Canada, Enbridge has secured 58 agreements covering 98 Indigenous communities and spent more than C$381 million on Indigenous contracting and labor, training, capacity building, and community sustainability initiatives. At the height of construction in Canada, more than 1,100 Indigenous people were working on the project.

The Forbes article also fails to mention that Line 3 is not a new pipeline project, but a replacement of an existing one with the newest and most advanced pipeline technology available to help protect our communities and the environment—a powerful demonstration of Enbridge’s commitment to safety and environmental protection. Minnesotans consume more than 12.8 million gallons of petroleum products every day and Enbridge supports the necessary energy infrastructure that fuels our quality of life.

Importantly, the International Energy Agency forecasts that global energy demand will increase 25 percent by 2040, largely driven by population growth, greater urbanization and improved living standards. To meet this growing demand, the world will need all sources of energy supply—oil, natural gas and renewable power—and the infrastructure to deliver it.

Enbridge is on the front lines of the transition to a lower carbon economy. We’ve grown our investment in natural gas infrastructure to support electricity generation that displaces higher-emission coal power plants. Enbridge has also invested US$6 billion in renewable power since 2002 and have energy efficiency and emissions reduction programs across our operations.  

There are a multitude of pathways in addition to renewable energy to move to a low-carbon future and Enbridge is engaged in pursuing them.

(TOP PHOTO: More than 250 First Nations and Metis participants graduated from Enbridge's Pipeline 101 training program in three Canadian provinces from 2015 through 2017. The 12-day sessions provided transferable skills to support future employment opportunities for Indigenous workers; they included both hands-on pipeline construction-readiness training and in-class safety ticket training.)