Enbridge in Minnesota

Taken from http://minnesotaprojects.enbridge.com/

NOTE: The Alberta Clipper Line, or Line 67, is not shown on this Enbridge map. The clipper runs along the same corridor as Existing Line 3, shown here.
Taken from http://minnesotaprojects.enbridge.com/

_ For the past decade Enbridge has been working to systematically expand the size, reach, and volume capacity of its Lakehead Pipeline System in the American Midwest, seeking to capitalize on fracking and tar sands booms. Enbridge already runs about seven major pipelines through Minnesota, including two of special relevance to current campaigns: the Alberta Clipper or Line 67 (carrying heavy tar sands bitumen) and Line 3 (carrying light and medium crude). The Clipper, though not labeled on the map above, runs along the same corridor as the Existing Line 3. In the past six years Enbridge has initiated projects to 1) Ramp up the volume of oil running through the Alberta Clipper, 2) “Replace” Line 3 – meaning build a new pipeline in a new corridor and leave the old one rotting in its place, and 3) Build a new fracked oil pipeline, the Sandpiper, to carry light crude from the Bakken formation in North Dakota to Superior, WI. Each of these projects is a step in the wrong direction for the climate, and a threat to local lakes and habitats across the state. We, along with other pipeline resisters in Minnesota, have worked hard to prevent expansions and keep Enbridge from using our precious natural landscape as an oil highway. The paragraphs below will introduce you to all three campaigns. For more detailed information you can reference the Enbridge Over Troubled Water report, compiled by national and regional environmental and tribal groups exposing the serious threat that Enbridge Inc. poses to the Great Lakes region.Enbridge Table_Sized

Line 3

The original 34-inch diameter Line 3 was built in the 1960’s, and Enbridge itself has estimated that it currently has over 900 “structural anomalies” – a terrible accident just waiting to happen. In 2014 Enbridge proposed to “replace” Line 3, but in reality they want to build a whole new 36-inch pipeline in a new corridor that runs through some of the most water-dense areas in the state on the way to Superior, WI. The new line would eventually carry nearly twice the amount of oil as the original Line 3, at a projected capacity of 760,000 barrels of oil per day. It would also have the added capability of carrying ‘heavy’ tar sands crude, making it into another outlet for the dirtiest fuel source on the planet. Adding insult to injury, if Enbridge is allowed to build their new Line 3, they plan to  just “deactivate” the old one – which means they’ll leave it sitting right where it is. A leaky pipeline left underground to decay is a major threat to surrounding ecosystems. While in Canada Enbridge would be required to go through an elaborate public regulatory process to determine the fate of a pipeline they are decommissioning, in the United States pipeline abandonment is almost entirely unregulated. Enbridge gets to save money in Minnesota on decommissioning, and offload the environmental cost of an abandoned line right onto residents and tribes. The Line 3 Replacement project is currently under review in Minnesota’s regulatory permitting processes. A draft release of an official Environmental Impact Statement is expected for release in April  2017, with a final version expected near the end of summer. This should be followed by case hearings through the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC), in which community members and tribal members can voice their opinions on the project. Stay tuned as this active campaign develops! (Note: for a guide to Minnesota regulatory agencies relevant to pipeline resistance, our page Alphabet Soup: Learning Pipeline Regulatory Bodies in Minnesota will be live soon!) _

Alberta Clipper

When the climate movement waged a campaign against Keystone XL, we targeted President Obama because he had the sole power to approve or reject the cross-border presidential permit needed by TransCanada to finish the line and connect it to the Alberta tar sands.

Taken from http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/content/alberta-clipper-pipeline-expansion-challenged

Taken from http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/content/alberta-clipper-pipeline-expansion-challenged

In 2012, Enbridge also requested a presidential permit for a major expansion of their Alberta Clipper or Line 67 pipeline, also a tar sands line (the Clipper has been called “the other Keystone”). But as Keystone XL floundered in the face of resistance, and their permit sat unapproved, Enbridge sought a stealthier way to avoid the executive choke-point that was hampering TransCanada. Instead of waiting for a new presidential permit to bump up the line’s capacity from 450,000 barrels per day to a whopping 880,000 barrels per day (Keystone XL would be 830,000 barrels per day), Enbridge pulled a sneaky double cross along the border that allowed them to rely on existing Presidential permits and avoid further executive review. The move, approved by the State Department, has been challenged in the courts by tribal groups and environmental organizations, but the expansion hasn’t yet been halted. Oil is currently flowing through the pipeline double cross scheme, but Enbridge still technically needs federal approval in order to use both of the border crossing pipes at their full capacity — right now, the company can only use one. This means that a fully expanded Line 3 would be impossible without the expansion of the Alberta Clipper approved at the federal level. On February 10, 2017, President Trump’s State Department released the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, the review document that will inform whether this final federal expansion will be approved. There is currently an open public comment period and there will be one public hearing on March 7th in Bemidji — look for more info on both coming shortly. _

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Sandpiper

Enbridge, in partnership with Marathon Petroleum Corporation, proposed the Sandpiper Pipeline in 2012 at the federal level and in 2014 in Minnesota. The application preceded the Line 3 “replacement” proposal, but the proposed route for Sandpiper was the same one Enbridge wanted for Line 3. This pipeline would have carried light crude from the Bakken formation in North Dakota to Superior, WI, but Enbridge underestimated Minnesota: the company encountered a savvy front of resistance including citizens’ groups, tribal groups, and environmental activists such as MN350. In 2015, Hubbard County based pipeline resistance ally Friends of the Headwaters, in partnership with Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA), landed an historic MN Court of Appeals decision that reversed one of Sandpiper’s permits and brought the project to a screeching halt. By September of last year Enbridge withdrew their application for the line – and we celebrated! For more about the Sandpiper victory, see our page When Resisters Win: the Sandpiper Victory (will be live soon!). Sandpiper is, however, a bittersweet victory – after abandoning the project Enbridge and Marathon reinvested their joint partnership into the Dakota Access Pipeline, which is why our regional solidarity is crucial to keeping the Enbridge threat at bay.