The Minnesota Court of Appeals voted 2-1 on Monday to continue with the Line 3 replacement project, despite protests drawing over 1,000 people. Judge Lucinda Jesson stated that, “With an existing, deteriorating pipeline carrying crude oil through Minnesota, there was no option without environmental consequences.”
Another blow to the @GovTimWalz, @LtGovFlanagan radical base. #Line3 provides hundreds of high paying union jobs, yet the @MinnesotaDFL continues their push destroy domestic energy and eliminate union jobs. https://t.co/Ayp8tcspNO
— MNGOP (@mngop) June 14, 2021
The decision was a victory for Canada-based Enbridge Energy, who plans to improve the pipeline and reinforce it with stronger steel so that it can carry more crude oil in a more effective manner. According to MSN, the project is nearly done except for the portion of the line that goes through Minnesota.
Enbridge says that “the replacement Line 3 will be made of stronger steel and will better protect the environment while restoring its capacity to carry oil and ensure reliable deliveries to U.S. refineries.” The plans for the Line 3 restoration underwent a large amount of environmental permitting to ensure that it was safe.
Many are unhappy with the decision, saying that it is environmentally harmful. The weekend of June 5 large protests were held at the Minnesota sites, leading to over 250 participants being arrested for property damage and other misdemeanors. The protests drew in activists from out of state as well.
The activists have called for President Joe Biden to cancel this pipeline project after he canceled the Keystone XL Pipeline project, citing environmental concerns and saying that Line 3 negatively affects the rights of Native American people. They fear that the pipeline carrying crude oil could spill in areas that could cause harm to land that the Native Americans use for hunting, fishing, and wild rice gathering.
The opponents of the pipeline plan to appeal the approvals.
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Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun and The Star News Network. She graduated with a degree in Communications from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul. Send news tips to [email protected]
Photo “Pipeline” by Tony Webster CC2.0.