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Letter to Editor: Line 3 pipeline jobs versus environment a false choice

Representative Steve Green has urged Governor Dayton to tell the Public Utilities Commission to hurry up and approve the construction of Enbridge's new Line 3 Pipeline, citing jobs and increased tax revenue for counties.

He continues to tout its benefits even though the Department of Commerce has concluded there is no need for this new pipeline and that it would be best the old, leaky Line 3 pipeline be shut down.

Building this pipeline for the transportation of Alberta tar sand oil is extremely shortsighted as it will enable and encourage more burning of this incredibly dirty, carbon-intensive fossil fuel. The recently completed Environmental Impact Study (EIS) describes the exacerbating impact on climate change that will occur if approved.

According to the Labor Network for Sustainability, Rep. Green and labor leaders should keep in mind that tar sand oil is as much a threat to our economy as it is to our planet, rendering this jobs versus environment debate a false choice. Increasingly destructive hurricanes, floods, and droughts are already having a devastating effect on American jobs.

According to the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, investment in a green infrastructure program would create nearly four times as many jobs as an equal investment in oil and gas. Organized labor is right to demand that public policy pay attention to our need for jobs.

But if labor is going to fight for jobs, let's fight for jobs that build the future we want for ourselves and our children, not ones that will destroy that future.

To learn how you can oppose this pipeline, please visit