Brooks covers business and the economy for the Duluth News Tribune.
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DULUTH, Minn.—"Build it," the early crowd said. "No way," was the chorus as the sun went down while the state lent its ear to Duluth-Superior to hear how residents felt about the Enbridge Line 3 oil pipeline. In a crowded Wednesday afternoon hearing at the city's convention center packed with Enbridge employees, pipeline supporters ticked off a dozen reasons to replace the 50-year-old oil pipeline, which crosses northern Minnesota, with a new one on a largely new route, while opponents gave their own set of arguments against it.
ST. PAUL — Another round of statewide public hearings starts Tuesday, Sept. 26, on the Line 3 oil pipeline replacement. This set of hearings could be among the last before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission makes its decision on whether or not to grant the pipeline a certificate of need and route permit. That decision is expected next spring; Enbridge hopes to have the pipeline up and running in 2019.
DULUTH — Enbridge says its Line 3 replacement pipeline is getting more expensive in the wake of regulatory delays and changes to the project. The proposed oil pipeline is now set to cost $6.5 billion, which is 9 percent higher than previous estimates.
SUPERIOR, Wis.—Minnesota Power is partnering with another utility to build a $700 million natural gas power plant in Superior as part of a suite of renewable energy proposals that include new wind and solar generation. "It's really about giving customers affordable, reliable, less carbon-intensive energy," Julie Pierce, Minnesota Power vice president of strategy and planning, said this week. "What we're doing with this is bringing in flexible generation ... to back us up."
A wide swath of Minnesotans interact with a homegrown, billion-dollar business every day — without leaving the house, without turning on a computer, without blinking. Just don't expect all of them to know the name of that company. Allete Inc. is known best, and for some solely, as the parent of Minnesota Power. And while the electric utility is still the corporation's biggest source of income, Allete has been expanding its energy empire and searching for a new balance.