Letter of Opposition to SF 1757 — Defunding Department of Commerce appeal of Line 3

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To: Senate Finance Committee

Re: Please Oppose SF 1757

March 21, 2019

Dear Senator:

As organizations who are working to accelerate the urgent transition to clean energy in Minnesota, we are in opposition to SF 1757.

The Line 3 “replacement” project is a proposal by Enbridge Energy to build a new oil pipeline through northern Minnesota which would carry 760,000 barrels of tar sands oil each day along a new corridor. The project jeopardizes Anishinaabe treaty territory, the heart of northern Minnesota lake country and the Mississippi headwaters, as well as private property.

In December 2018, the Department of Commerce (DOC) filed an appeal of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC)’s approval of the Line 3 Certificate of Need. The Walz Flanagan administration re-filed the Petition for Reconsideration in February.

The project is inconsistent with Minnesota’s overall energy needs. The social cost of carbon resulting from the project is too high for it to be justified. Further, it would provide an ill-timed subsidy to the flagging tar sands oil industry, whose especially polluting form of crude oil – 25% more carbon intensive than other, more readily available sources – is facing falling demand as transition to cleaner energy sources accelerates.

Since completing their expert analysis in fall of 2017, the DOC has maintained that Enbridge did not meet their burden of proof for a Certificate of Need permit, because it is not needed and the risks outweigh any potential benefits. The PUC voted to permit the pipeline along Enbridge’s preferred route in spite of these findings, as well as the recommendations of the Administrative Law Judge assigned to the issue, and the desires of several Ojibwe bands and tens of thousands of Minnesotans.

The authorities and independence of the Department of Commerce to protect the long-term well being of Minnesotans should be maintained. We agree with the DOC that Minnesota’s future will be in clean, renewable energy, in both the electric utility and transportation sectors. Thank you for your consideration.


Steve Morse
Executive Director
Minnesota Environmental Partnership

Alliance for Sustainability

A.C.E.S. (Austin Coalition for Environmental Sustainability)

CURE (Clean Up Our River Environment)

Clean Water Action- Minnesota

Environment Minnesota                                                                                  

Friends of the Cloquet Valley State Forest      

Friends of the Minnesota Scientific and Natural Areas

Friends of the Mississippi River

Friends of the Parks and Trails of St. Paul and Ramsey County

Izaak Walton League – Minnesota Division

Land Stewardship Project

Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy

Minnesota Native Plant Society          

Minnesota Ornithologists Union

MN 350 Action

Northern Waters Land Trust

Renewing the Countryside
Save our Sky Blue Waters

Sierra Club – North Star Chapter

St. Croix River Association

Wilderness in the City

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