Oil Pipeline Upgrade Approved, Local Tribes Reviewing Another

WASHINGTON – Enbridge Energy has been granted final approval for the final segment of one pipeline, even as permission for renovations to another one stretching across Minnesota continues to be held up.

The Calgary, Alberta-based Enbridge has been operating Line 67 since 2010, and upgrades from 2014 and 2015 nearly doubled the route’s capacity to 800,000 barrels of oil a day, reports the Pioneer Press.

After five years of review the United States Department of State granted Enbridge permission to proceed with construction on a final upgrade for the Line, reports the Pioneer Press. The three mile segment crosses the United States-Canada border near Neche, North Dakota. From there Line 67 transports the crude oil across Minnesota to Superior, Wisconsin. Enbridge has so far been using a short detour into a nearby pipeline to keep Line 67 operating at full capacity.

Meanwhile Enbridge Energy’s Line 3 continues to run into opposition from a variety of groups.

Six Ojibwe bands which are steadfastly opposed to the plan to replace the aging Line 3 pipeline infrastructure will be holding a series of public meetings as a part of their own environmental impact assessment, reports the Pioneer Press.

These tribal proceedings are separate from the efforts of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, though the bands will submit their findings to the commission for the public record, reports the Pioneer Press. The ruling of the state’s final environmental impact review already said that the Line 3 renovation project would have a disproportionate affect on tribal communities in northern Minnesota. These Ojibwe bands believe the review did not go far enough however. Their own review will look at the supposed impacts of replacing an already existing pipeline through the lense of the Ojibwe worldview and value systems.

Anders Koskinen