Walker Orenstein: Status of Enbridge Line 3 Pipeline


Calgary-based Enbridge is close to building a crude oil pipeline through northern Minnesota’s lake country after its plans received key approval from state energy regulators this year. But despite the green light from the Public Utilities Commission, Enbridge has yet to break ground for its $2.6 billion, 337-mile Minnesota portion of the Line 3 project. That’s because the company still faces several government hurdles and legal challenges to moving the pipeline ahead...

Environmentalists opposed to the route worry a spill could pollute the Mississippi River’s headwaters or other nearby lakes and waterways in the region. The pipeline is also expected to run through some remote territory, increasing concern that it would be difficult to quickly catch and fix a spill.

In an email, Juli Kellner, a spokeswoman for Enbridge, said the final route through Minnesota “reflects years of environmental and cultural studies, plus extensive engagement efforts with Tribes, individual landowners and local communities resulting in more than 50 route changes of the line.”