Enbridge has successfully completed its Line 3 replacement project, announcing Wednesday that the pipeline will begin operations on Friday, Oct. 1.
Replacement construction on Line 3 began more than seven years ago, according to Reuters, with the project costing $8.2 billion altogether. The replaced pipeline will transport more oil from Canada through North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin than it had previously transported due to its “age and corrosion.”
Reuters reports that Enbridge will begin offering 620,000 barrels of oil per day in October, though it expects to offer the full capacity of 760,000 barrels per day by November.
“The maintenance industry is our future, the lifeline of the oil and gas industry,” pipeline union representative Phillip Wallace told Reuters. “Line 3 was the big boy that needed replacing badly.”
Alpha News previously covered efforts from Minnesota lawmakers and protesters to stop construction on the state’s portion of Line 3. Rep. Ilhan Omar in particular led the charge against the pipeline, vigorously calling on Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and President Joe Biden to suspend Line 3’s permits.
Omar and others claimed the pipeline would be destructive to local communities, particularly those of “indigenous people,” and put the health and safety of their residents at risk. They also say Line 3 would exacerbate the effects of climate change. Many of these claims have proven to be misleading or outright false.
Various Republicans in Minnesota released statements Wednesday congratulating Enbridge on its completion of Line 3 and heralding its benefits for the state of Minnesota.
“The construction of the Line 3 pipeline is good news for Northern Minnesota schools, counties, communities, and for our entire state,” said Deputy Majority Leader Mark Johnson. “Line 3 supports our communities, creates high-paying jobs, and helps protect our environment. Transporting energy by the old pipeline or rail is not as safe.”
Sen. Paul Utke of Park Rapids thanked all the pipeline workers for their efforts, as well as law enforcement officers for “maintaining peace at the project sites.”
“The science has repeatedly supported the safety and merits of this endeavor, and we have already seen benefits to our communities, businesses, and economies,” he added.