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Pipeline would benefit Aitkin County

Yesterday (Aug. 22) the Dispatch published an article describing the potential benefits of the new Sandpiper Pipeline that is proposed to run through the area, most of it in Aitkin County. The citizens of Crow Wing and Aitkin County should be aware that Rep. Joe Radinovich has already quietly tried to block building of any part of that new pipeline in Aitkin or Crow Wing County.  

Back in April without doing his homework, including not consulting local government officials, he filed document 20145-99190-01 with the State Public Utilities Commission stating, “I write to respectfully request the Public Utilities Commission strongly consider not granting approval of Enbridge Inc.’s proposed Sandpiper Pipeline Southern Route.”  

Apparently he considers from $1-$4 million dollars in annual new property tax revenue for Aitkin County alone not a benefit to area citizens.  Aitkin County levies just over $11 million dollars a year in property taxes, $1-$4 million dollars in new annual revenue would be a huge direct benefit for county taxpayers.

Radinovich apparently supports the nightmare of the crude oil unit trains that daily travel through Little Falls. Currently the Burlington Northern route through Brainerd and Aitkin primarily moves coal by unit train. Does he want to see crude oil trains eventually using that route to Superior, Wis., rather than building a modern safe pipeline?

Unlike our current representative I believe we have the talent and expertise here in Minnesota to construct and safely operate a pipeline.  We don’t need crude oil unit trains rumbling through Brainerd or Aitkin because of Mr. Radinovich’s lack of understanding of basic safety issues with respect to transporting crude oil.