On September 11th, the Minnesota Department of Commerce submitted testimony to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) on Enbridge’s certificate of need application for its proposed Line 3 tar sands pipeline expansion project. In their recommendation, the agency concluded that that there is no need for the project, and that the risks outweigh any limited benefits, noting, “it is reasonable to conclude that Minnesota would be better off if Enbridge proposed to cease operations of the existing Line 3, without any new pipeline being built.”
In order to build the new, expanded Line 3 pipeline through the state, Enbridge needs both a route permit and a certificate of need from the PUC. DoC’s recommendation that the certificate of need is not warranted is a significant setback for the project.
The PUC will be accepting public comments over the next few months and is expected to make a decision next spring.
In response, Margaret Levin, State Director for the Sierra Club North Star Chapter, issued the following statement:
“We are thrilled to see the Department of Commerce recognize that Enbridge’s Line 3 expansion project would be all cost and no benefit for Minnesotans. If built, this pipeline would threaten Minnesota’s lands, water, wildlife, and Indigenous treaty-protected rights. At a time when there is no market demand for more tar sands, and Minnesota’s oil consumption rates are declining, there’s simply no good reason to allow Enbridge to build a dangerous new tar sands pipeline across our state.
“We urge the Public Utilities Commission to heed this recommendation, as well as the calls of thousands of Minnesotans who oppose this project, and reject the pipeline once and for all. Continued citizen participation in upcoming hearings and comments will be more important than ever. ”
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