Reader Opinion: Pipeline hearings
I attended the Minnesota Department of Commerce Sandpiper/Line 3 pipeline corridor EIS scoping hearing in Little Falls. It is interesting to note that the single commentator in support of Enbridge's proposed route through our lakes area was Mike ...
I attended the Minnesota Department of Commerce Sandpiper/Line 3 pipeline corridor EIS scoping hearing in Little Falls. It is interesting to note that the single commentator in support of Enbridge's proposed route through our lakes area was Mike Franklin of the Minnesota Ag Energy Alliance. He recited a list of organizations that support this alliance such as the Minnesota Farm Bureau; Minnesota Chamber of Commerce; Minnesota Service Station and Convenience Store Association; and United Association representing pipefitters, welders, plumbers and service technicians. However, he failed in public to mention other members of this alliance that their website lists including Enbridge Energy, Marathon Ashland Petroleum, Minnesota Petroleum Council, Minnesota Petroleum Marketers Association and Minnesota Power. Enbridge and Marathon, two companies benefitting most from the pipeline, along with Minnesota Power, which is benefitting from the right-of-way to be used by the pipeline. The speaker also used highly inflated numbers about the economic impact of these pipelines. We have suddenly gone from 1,500 construction jobs to 3,000, failing to mention that these are short-term jobs which may or may not be filled by Minnesota workers. In addition, he cited $25 million in property taxes for the counties involved, failing to mention that Enbridge has already filed suit against this property tax valuation in an attempt to reduce the taxes to be paid. This organization certainly sounds like a lobbying group for Enbridge and petroleum interests, whose main interest is putting the new pipeline corridor in the shortest route, regardless of the long-term damage to Minnesota's water from the inevitable leaks that will occur. I wonder how much money this lobbying group has spent influencing our legislature on this issue?
Gregory L. Johnson