[photo courtesy KARE11]
Calgary Alberta based Enbridge, Inc. (who operates the world’s longest crude oil and liquids transportation system) is close to building a crude oil pipeline through northern Minnesota’s lake country after its plans received key approval from state energy regulators last year. But despite approval from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, Enbridge hasn’t started its $2.6 billion, 337-mile Minnesota portion of the Line 3 project. That’s because the company still faces several government hurdles and legal challenges to moving the pipeline ahead (Enbridge still must obtain a lengthy list of permits that include state, local, and federal permissions that include permits from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the Department of Natural Resources and the federal Army Corps of Engineers).

The proposed pipeline is a replacement to one that was built in the1960’s that carries crude oil from Edmonton, Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin, through northern Minnesota. The company says the 34-inch diameter pipeline is corroding and now operating at roughly half its original capacity. Enbridge is currently subject to a consent decree with the federal government that was issued after multiple spills in 2010 in Michigan and Illinois. The Michigan leak spewed hundreds of thousands of gallons of crude oil into the Kalamazoo River and Talmadge Creek, and as part of the decree, the government ordered the company to replace the U.S. portion of the existing Line 3 as long as it could get approval to do so.

A national wave of opposition is extremely important right now. Demand that the Army Corps of Engineers honor scientific facts and treaty rights and reject the Line 3 permit.

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