The Minnesota Department of Commerce and Public Utilities Commission are currently evaluating whether to allow Enbridge to construct a new pipeline called Line 3 in northern Minnesota. This pipeline would carry a huge volume of Alberta tar sands oil from the Canadian border to Superior, Wisc., eventually ending up at Gulf of Mexico refineries to be shipped overseas. The PUC has to decide whether an extensive Environmental Impact Statement is complete and valid, and then decide whether the pipeline is really needed and, if needed, where it should be placed.
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.