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Letter: Proposed pipeline is ill-conceived

The Sandpiper Pipeline being proposed by Canadian Company Enbridge, Inc. could not be more ill-conceived. The proposed route will expose pristine Minnesota Lake Country to potential environmental disaster. The company has a dismal environmental record which includes a July, 2010 pipeline leak that poured an estimated 877,000 gallons of crude oil into a Michigan stream which ultimately wound up polluting a 25-mile stretch of the Kalamazoo River. The cleanup costs as of the summer of 2012 total a whopping $765 million. Ladies and gentlemen, regardless of your political persuasion, this pipeline cannot be allowed to happen.

Construction of the pipeline would bring a small army of construction workers into the area for the duration of the construction process. The majority of the workers will pull their campers which they will park wherever they can find the cheapest short-term rates, as reasonable people are inclined to do. When the construction is complete, the workers will be gone, leaving behind the fruits of their labors.

As for an increase in property tax receipts which would supposedly be the net effect of the completed pipeline, I believe a very strong case could be made for devaluing any property within fifty miles of this proposed behemoth.

One aspect of this debate that I have not heard in the discussion is the potential disaster of an oil tanker spill into one of the Great Lakes.

I must admit to being a novice when it comes to researching and participating in dialogue regarding environmental issues. I found the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission website to be very difficult to navigate. The maps of the proposed pipeline route that were viewed on the Enbridge website took a very long time to download and were lacking names to landmarks such as the names of lakes, rivers, and towns.

Since Enbridge is a Canadian company, perhaps they should consider running the pipeline through some of Canada’s lake and river areas, after all, the location where the pipeline is supposed to commence, Tioga, N.D., is just a few short miles from the Canadian border. I don’t believe that Canadian citizens would stand for it, and neither should we. At a minimum, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission should require a multibillion dollar insurance policy that will pay the costs of another catastrophic event, heaven forbid.

I hope that local opposition forms and makes their collective voice heard on a local, statewide, and regional level.

Steve Klabo

Bismarck, N.D.