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Letter: Enbridge used to doing what they want


In the article in Saturday’s Enterprise, it is obvious to me, as a student of political history that most of Enbridge’s responses to their critics are pure propaganda. Calling people’s legitimate fears, suggestions and complaints into “questions” for Enbridge’s glib answers, is an example. They spoke long enough about their safety controls. About the valves along the route. Let’s see, if there is a valve every two miles along the pipeline and there is a crack, a valve instantly, autonomously shuts, preventing – well, what? There are still two miles of oil within the 34” pipeline that can leak out. Think about it. Talk about valves is propaganda to make you and I think everything is peachy. Oh, and then, Enbridge’s largess; giving a check here and there to a worthy organization. Will some of us be struck dumb and happy by their benevolence?

Here’s my thought. If you drive to the cities from Park Rapids and watch the hundred-car (soon to be 200-car) oil trains passing by – isn’t it obvious that they form nothing more than an above-ground pipeline. Oil is flowing across the landscape in an eight-foot diameter pipe at 50 miles per hour. Nothing more or less. Above-ground pipelines work in Alaska, set above the permafrost where they can be observed and repaired. Why couldn’t Enbridge lease right-of-way alongside railroad trackage for an above-ground pipeline. We all know the railroads go everywhere and own plenty of excess right-of-way. Think about it, an above-ground pipeline running along a railroad right-of-way would be a boon for the railroad. They’d have land-lease income, have less investment in costly new technology rail cars, and be johnny-on-the-spot with Enbridge maintenance crews in the event of a breach in the line. Why hasn’t Enbridge seriously considered this possibility.

Enbridge is a very big company, used to getting their way. I urge the PUC and DNR to put final decisions on permits off until all possible procedures have been investigated – and then, they should tell Enbridge what to do; not the other way around, letting Enbridge do what they wish and rubber-stamping our environmental loss.

Noel Allard

Straight River Township