Letter: Proposed line 3 route not worth the risks
I'm sure Brad Shamla of Enbridge inadvertently left out an important consideration in his letter touting the Line 3 Replacement as the responsible and best solution.
He implies that a brand new pipeline in a different location than the current line 3 — in a new location where it would lie buried in some of the best surface waters, wild rice beds and aquifers in the state — is preferable to Enbridge having to do more than 6,000 maintenance digs around the current line 3 over the next 15 years. He implies that maintenance digs won't be needed with a brand new line.
I certainly hope a brand spanking new pipeline wouldn't leak, at least for a few years, but the Enbridge vice president ignores the Second Law of Thermodynamics which says, in effect, that everything eventually wears out.
What happens with this brand new line in 10, 20, 30 or more years when it no longer is new and shiny, when decades of tar sands diluted bitumen (diluted asphalt, basically) has worn its way through the strong American steel and the expertly welded joints, when it has become an old and worn out line?
Pipelines rupture, as Enbridge well knows from the debacle caused from its pipe leaking in the Kalamazoo River in Michigan just seven years ago.
Why take a chance contaminating some of the best waters in Minnesota and the country by placing a new pipeline through those waters?
There are other routes further west where a leak could be more quickly detected and mitigated than in this area, where devastating pollution would not wreak such havoc as it would here.
Clean water will become an even more important natural resource in the future and must be protected now.
I don't think even Enbridge, with its vast wealth and political connections, could get the Second Law repealed. It would need to approach a power higher than the Minnesota Legislature at the least.
But even better, especially in the interest of creating jobs as well as protecting the environment, why doesn't Enbridge put its efforts into solar and wind energy? More jobs, I understand, are being created in these fields compared to those in the fossil fuel industry. And after all, a solar energy spill is simply called a nice day.