Minnesota Commerce Department Recommends Against Line 3 Plan

Construction on the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline replacement project is already underway on the Wisconsin portion of the line. Construction on the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline replacement project is already underway on the Wisconsin portion of the line. |  Photo: Enbridge

September 11, 2017 10:47 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minnesota Department of Commerce says Enbridge Energy has failed to establish the need for its proposal to replace its aging Line 3 crude oil pipeline across northern Minnesota.

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Instead, the department says it might be better to just shut down the existing line.

In filings with the Public Utilities Commission Monday, the agency says refineries in the region already have sufficient supplies and little capacity for processing more crude. And it says Minnesota's demand for gasoline appears unlikely to increase over the long term.

The decision on granting a certificate of need for the project is up to the PUC, which is independent of Gov. Mark Dayton's administration.

Dayton praised the work of Commerce Department staffers, but says he'll await more information before expressing personal views on the project.

In response, Enbridge released a statement, which reads in part:

"The Department of Commerce opinion is only one view which we and other energy consumers will respond to in detail through this process. (...) This is critical infrastructure, which is being replaced with the most advanced materials, most up to date technology and under superior construction methods. We're confident in our evidence and we're confident in the Minnesota regulatory process which requires weighing of all evidence by a judge followed by her recommendations to the Minnesota PUC. Line 3 Replacement will involve a $2B investment in Minnesota and result in significant safety and economic benefits to Minnesota and the US Midwest. Enbridge is reviewing the evidence and will provide rebuttal testimony in accordance with the judge's scheduling order."


Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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