MINNEAPOLIS – Fresh off approval by Minnesota regulators, the parent company of Enbridge Energy says it’s on track to finish construction and put its disputed Line 3 replacement pipeline into service in the second half of next year.
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on Thursday determined the project is necessary and approved the company’s preferred route across northern Minnesota, with modifications and conditions that Enbridge considers minor.
In a statement late Thursday, Enbridge Inc. based in Calgary, Alberta, called that a “good outcome for Minnesota.” The Canadian company said replacing the deteriorating old Line 3 will ensure the safety of a critical piece of energy infrastructure and ensure reliable crude oil supplies for Minnesota and other regional refineries.
But climate change and tribal activists vowed to keep fighting. Winona LaDuke, founder of Honor the Earth, said they’ll use every regulatory means possible, and she threatened mass protests.
“They have gotten their Standing Rock,” LaDuke said, referring to protests that drew thousands of people to neighbouring North Dakota to rally against the Dakota Access pipeline.
After the commission issues a formal written order in the next few weeks, opponents can then file appeals.
Line 3 runs from Alberta across North Dakota and Minnesota to Enbridge’s terminal in Superior, Wisconsin. The replacement would use part of the same route in Minnesota before taking a more southerly path.