Debunking Myths You’ve Seen/Heard About Line 3
The Line 3 Pipeline Project was not a “Replacement”
If you have a worn-out bicycle tire that needs replacing, you will typically remove your bicycle tire, mount a replacement, and put it back on your bicycle. Similarly with regards to the “Line 3 Replacement Project”, one would expect this to include removing Line 3 from the ground and putting a new pipeline back into the ground. This is not what happened. The original Line 3 pipeline was left in the ground indefinitely, and the new Line 3 (or, what is marked now as “Line 93”) was built with a larger diameter pipe, in an entirely different corridor, along an entirely different route.
Line 3/93 does NOT ship Bakken Crude from North Dakota, it ships Tar Sand Oil from Canada.
There is a region in Alberta, Canada, known for its primary extractive industry resource: Tar Sands. Tar Sand “oil”, or, bitumen as it is called, is not a liquid in its raw form. It is ashpalt attached to sand particles. Open-pit mines extract the sand and pulverize it with chemicals and steam to separate the Bitumen, which is then diluted with chemicals to become “Diluted Bitumen” (DilBit) so that it can be transported via pipe. If/when DilBit leaks from a pipeline over a water source, like with Enbridge’s Line 5 on the Kalamazoo River in Michigan, the chemicals diluents evaporate into the atmosphere and the bitumen sinks. This asphalt substance is almost impossible to dredge & clean from the natural environment. Tar Sand Oil is considered the “Dirtiest Oil” on the planet because of the amount of resources it requires to extract, transport & refine. LONG STORY SHORT… Line 3 is designed to carry Canada’s Oil to overseas markets it cannot reach.
Minnesota does not “Need” this oil. MN Refineries are at capacity, and this product is intended for international markets.
The Line 3 pipeline transports DilBit from Alberta, Canada through Minnesota to Superior, WI where for the most part it continues along various midstream pipelines to the coast for overseas export. During the regulatory process, Minnesota’s own Department of Commerce (DOC) sued Minnesota’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) because it did not feel Enbridge had submitted an adequate Long-Term Energy Demand Forecast which would have shown that Minnesota & the surrounding region needed the oil, which is a requirement for the project to have received a Certificate of Need (CN). Ultimately the lawsuit failed – appellate courts determined that the “need” Enbridge has was on behalf of its Canadian Oil shippers, a blatant misunderstanding and misinterpretation of Minnesota’s Environmental Protection Act.
Line 3 will not create long-term “Jobs” in the State of Minnesota.
You probably came across Enbridge’s advertisements about the THOUSANDS of jobs Line 3 would create. During active construction, the project brought in thousands of workers in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic to build Line 3, but these jobs are now gone (except for the on-going work fixing construction problems & aquifer breaches). The Line 3 pipeline project created 12 months temporary construction work so that Canada could secure 50+ years of increased fossil fuel extraction. A majority of the temporary construction jobs were filled by out-of-state workers – even the steel pipes used to build Line 3, which had been stored outside in the elements of Minnesota for half a decade, were NOT made in Minnesota with Minnesotan steel from the Iron range.
The “Native Americans” have helped pave the way for this Project.
All of the Minnesota Chippewa/Ojibwe tribes opposed the Line 3 replacement project at the onset when Enbridge first filed for its permits. After years in the courts battling against the project, as it became clear that Minnesota’s State Agencies would collude to force the pipeline through, the Fond Du Lac Band in 2018 signed a deal with Enbridge to allow the project to be constructed in its original corridor across their Reservation in what prominent indigenous activist & Executive Director of Honor the Earth Winona LaDuke accurately calls a “Sophie’s Choice” decision. All other Federally Recognized Tribes in MN, including White Earth, Leech Lake & the Red Lake Nation oppose the project and actively challenged construction on the ground & in the courts.