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Boreal Community Media

Video: Activists and Enbridge Alike Weigh In on Replacement Line 3 Pipeline

Sep 29, 2019 05:43AM ● By Editor

Photo: WDIO-TV

By Emily Ness of WDIO-TV - September 29, 2019

Hundreds rallied on the shore of Lake Superior this afternoon to express their ongoing opposition to Enbridge's proposed replacement Line 3 pipeline. This rally capped off a global week of action on climate change that began on Friday, September 20th.

"There is a community, there is a movement and it’s like a tsunami. Once we start, it is very hard to stop,” Skip Sandman, Tribal Elder, Fon Du Lac and Spiritual Advisor, Anishinaabe said.

The proposed replacement pipeline is a project Enbridge has been working on for some time and has made progress on over the years.

Both activists and Enbridge spoke on behalf of the proposed replacement Line 3 pipeline.

"There's only 350 miles of that line that has not been replaced and that's in Minnesota and North Dakota," Little said. 

Enbridge, the company working on the pipeline is confident that the replacement would make the pipeline safer and more sustainable for years to come.

"The Enbridge system itself has been safely delivering energy for about 70 years in Minnesota and its energy that we all use whether its gas in our car or jet fuel that helps us get to warmer places in the winter or you know, some of the products that come out of crude oil are asphalt or plastic and we all rely on those thing every day,” Lorraine Little, Director of Community Engagement, Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability at Enbridge said.

Activists worry that if this pipeline is replaced, however, it will negatively impact the environment.

"This is our water. We are in the land of 10,000 lakes. What are we thinking? Money will not change it once it has spilled and it has spilled many, many times and so we need to get real and we need to get real right now,” Louisa Posada, member of the MN DFL Native Peoples Caucus said.

Enbridge assures the public that they are doing everything that they can to make the project safe including obtaining an environmental work permit to ensure that oil continues to be handled safely.

“We deliver about 80% of the crude oil that the two refineries in the Twin Cities use, 100% that the refinery in Superior uses and about 75% around the Great Lakes region and so the crude oil that comes off of our pipelines is critical to supplying the energy that we all need and use in Minnesota and the surrounding region,” Littles said.

Additionally, Enbridge has reached out to tribes, addressing the use of their land.

"Our existing pipeline across Northern Minnesota crosses two reservations—Leech Lake and Fon Du Lac and we have been working with them over the last several years on what's the best way to handle the line three replacement project," Littles said. “So, we have an agreement with the Fon Du Lac tribe about how we will cross the reservation with the new line three. With Leech Lake, we also have an agreement with them about how we’ll decommission the old pipeline when the new one is in service.”

Enbridge has also set aside $100 million that will be dedicated to economic opportunities for tribal members. Still, the public is weary.

"Whether or not this pipeline gets built defines really our whole future and we can have any other actions on climate, but ultimately if this pipeline gets built, that's the legacy of Minnesota in this action,” Priya Dalal-Whelan, senior at Perpich Arts High in Minneapolis who traveled to Duluth to attend the rally said.

No final decisions have been made yet and the project remains in the works. More information about the proposed replacement Line 3 pipeline can be found here.

Watch the WDIO-TV Report here

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