Judge Stops Short of Full Support for Line 3 Pipeline


Gabby Brown, gabby.brown@sierraclub.org

Natalie Cook, natalie.cook@sierraclub.org, 651-295-3483


Saint Paul, MN -- Today, an administrative law judge stopped short of recommending that the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approve all of Enbridge’s requests to build a new tar sands oil pipeline in Northern Minnesota.

The PUC is expected to make its decision on the necessary permits for the pipeline in June. Enbridge has proposed to abandon its existing Line 3 pipeline in the ground and replace it with a new, larger pipeline, running along a different route and doubling the amount of dirty tar sands running through the state, threatening lands, water, and communities along the way.

The judge recommended that the PUC grant Enbridge the “certificate of need” for Line 3, but laid out 17 conditions and recommended that the PUC not approve Enbridge’s preferred route, but rather that they be required to build in the existing Line 3 route.

“At a time when Minnesota’s oil consumption rates are declining and the Minnesota Department of Commerce’s independent analysis shows that this oil is not needed, there’s simply no good reason to allow Enbridge to build a dangerous new tar sands pipeline through our state, regardless of what route it takes,” said Margaret Levin, State Director for the Sierra Club North Star Chapter. “We urge the PUC to listen to the voices of thousands of Minnesotans who have marched, submitted public comment, and testified against Line 3 and reject this dangerous pipeline once and for all.”

“We commend Judge O’Reilly for recognizing Enbridge should not be allowed to send its tar sands pipeline through a new route in Minnesota, but we stand strong with the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and the Department of Commerce:there is no permission for this new pipeline or need for the existing pipeline,” said Tara Houska, National Campaigns Director of Honor the Earth. “Tribal nations have been crystal clear that a new line is not acceptable; there is no economic need for Line 3 and the risk it poses to Minnesota. Let’s move to a green economy and away from a Canadian corporation sending dirty tar sands through our waters and treaty territories -- deny Line 3”

“Judge O'Reilly has handed the authority to deny Line 3 to the Leech Lake band. The Youth Climate Intervenors denounce suggesting more pipelines cross sovereign native land, and we're disappointed in the Judge's failure to recognize that the climate impacts from the pipeline will quantifiably and irrevocably damage Minnesota no matter where it is constructed. We hope the Public Utilities Commission will think for itself, respect tribal nations, and protect future generations by denying the Line 3 permits,” said Sarah Harper, one of the 13 Youth Climate Intervenors and a current student at the University of Minnesota.


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