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Letter: Plan to attend PUC hearing in Park Rapids

Please plan to attend a hearing for Enbridge’s “replacement” Line 3 pipeline, at Park Rapids Century School on Wednesday, Aug. 19 at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. If you wish to speak, please arrive early to sign in. If you would rather not speak, you can submit a written comment.   It’s not enough to just tell our friends that we think that pipelines through the Mississippi Headwaters are a bad idea. To create change, we must support the legal, political, and procedural strategies that will protect Minnesota lake country. Many people, across the political spectrum, are working on these strategies, but we need your support. 

 The hearings will present Enbridge’s plan to abandon its Line 3 pipeline, which carries Alberta tar sands, and build a new one alongside the Sandpiper. The current Line 3 has over 900 of what Enbridge calls “structural anomalies” (aka corrosion and long-seam cracking). Enbridge would rather abandon the pipeline than repair it. That doesn’t sound good for the future of a Line 3 through Hubbard County.   Enbridge claims that for the new pipeline they’ll use “modern pipe materials.” Are those the same materials that resulted in a massive spill in Alberta last month? That spill happened on a “new” (one-year-old) pipeline with a state-of-the-art leak detection system. The leak detection system failed, and the pipeline had been leaking for as long as two weeks before being discovered - by accident. If this is modern technology, we can’t allow it here.  There’s no benefit in letting Enbridge use our land and threaten our water. There will be no discounted gas, for instance, and not even much money compared to the billions that Enbridge will make. The ONLY benefit would be Enbridge’s taxes, and Enbridge is already in tax court, trying to reduce that amount.

 You can bet they’ll push to lower their taxes over the years, and we’ll be stuck with a pipeline corridor that will risk our tourism economy and drive away good taxpaying residents. Would you buy lake property near a pipeline corridor carrying tar sands, the dirtiest fossil fuel there is?   With no state regulatory process to handle pipeline abandonment, we are facing a crisis in northern Minnesota. We need to make Enbridge clean up their mess up north, not welcome them here. Please lend your voice to the growing chorus of “no!” to Enbridge’s disastrous plans. 

Janet Hill

McGregor, Minn.