The Minnesota Petroleum Council is disappointed with the cancellation of two October hearings in St. Cloud regarding Enbridge Energy's pending replacement of the Line 3 pipeline, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported.
The two meetings would have been among over a dozen that the Public Utilities Commission has administered in Minnesota in the past several weeks to allow the public to give their opinions. According to the commission, the city of St. Cloud prompted the cancellation of the hearings due to "logistical and safety issues related to the numerous events" being held at the River’s Edge Convention Center, which is where the meetings were to take place.
“There’s no doubt that today’s decision to cancel the public meeting on Line 3 is disappointing,” Erin Roth, Minnesota Petroleum Council executive director, said in a press release. “What’s worse is that communities are put in this position by some who actively obstruct civil discourse, stifle free speech, and disrespect those in attendance who are there to respectfully voice their opinion. These hearings are important for Minnesotans to learn more about this important infrastructure project and the benefits that would come from it."
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission states that Enbridge wants to replace Line 3, a 282-mile, 34-inch pipeline that "runs from the North Dakota-Minnesota border to Superior, Wisconsin," with a larger, longer pipeline.
“It’s estimated that the Line 3 replacement project would support thousands of Minnesota jobs and generate an estimated $20 million per year in state property taxes," Roth said. "Plus, this project will use the latest and greatest technology aimed at protecting the environment and communities across the state. We hope that this cancellation is an isolated incident and look forward to our continued participation in these hearings throughout Minnesota.”