The project is renovating and replacing the Line3 pipeline, which goes from Edmonton, Alberta, to Superior, Wisconsin. That will cost Enbridge a hefty $2.9 billion, but the biggest obstacle is getting the replacement approved by Minnesota regulators.
The 14 miles of Line3 that run through Wisconsin was already replaced in 2017. The 380 miles of line in Minnesota is still waiting on state approval. In other words, those 2,000 Minnesota union jobs are still waiting on the state.
One roadblock is local tribal and environmental concerns. Yet Enbridge notes that not replacing the pipeline is a danger in of itself, and that only one area will see a re-route of the pipeline. Plus, Enbridge is pledging all sorts of money to the tribes involved, and the project should boost businesses in the area.
In the end the biggest problem isn’t local issues, it’s the environmental activists that hold a huge influence over DFL politicians.
In 2018, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously to approve Enbridge’s maintenance project. But outgoing Democrat Governor Mark Dayton appealed that decision, blocking Enbridge from moving forward. After taking office in 2019, Dayton’s successor, Democrat Governor Tim Walz, continues to fight against the unanimous Utilities Commission decision.
A WCCO article notes that “faith groups” are pushing Walz on, including “Honor the Earth” and “Science for the People.”