Quantcast

Enbridge Dealt New Setback After Judge Pushes Back Decision on Line 3 Pipeline

Popular
Enbridge's Line 3 pipeline. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau approved the Canadian portion of the project not long after Donald Trump took the White House. Marc Chalifoux / Epic Photography for the Government of Alberta / Flickr

Environmentalists are cheering after an administrative law judge delayed approval of Enbridge Energy's controversial Line 3 replacement pipeline in northern Minnesota.

The decision from Judge Ann O'Reilly comes after state regulators deemed the environmental impact statement for the proposed multibillion-dollar project as “ inadequate" and directed revisions on the document.


Minnesota Public Radio reported that O'Reilly is weighing whether a new Line 3 is needed in the state, and if so, what the pipeline route should be.

Minnesotans are best served, the judge said, "by investing a few extra weeks now to ensure that the law is followed and a comprehensive review of the project is conducted before a final decision is rendered in this important case."

Enbridge wants to replace its aging Line 3 pipeline with a new pipeline along a different route across northern Minnesota. The Canadian energy company said the new Line 3 will "provide much needed incremental capacity to support Canadian crude oil production growth, and U.S. and Canadian refinery demand." If approved, the $7.5 billion Line 3 would be the largest project in Enbridge's history, which would carry nearly 32 million gallons of oil every day.

Though lesser known, Line 3 is facing a growing Dakota Access-like opposition, with protests against the project on the rise. Line 3 critics, including environmentalists and several Native American tribes, worry that the major tar sands project could cause a devastating spill across important waterways, wetlands and sacred lands, and worsen climate change.

Honor the Earth, a Native-led organization protesting the project, said: "The proposed new route endangers the Great Lakes, home to one fifth of the world's fresh water, and some of the most delicate soils, aquifers and pristine lakes in northern Minnesota, It also threatens critical resources on Ojibwe treaty lands, where tribal members retain the rights to hunt, fish, gather, hold ceremony, and travel."

Honor the Earth

Enbridge was disappointed by the judge's ruling. Spokesperson Shannon Gustafson said the revisions to the environmental impact statement were "very simple follow ups" but added that the "cumbersome nature of the process could take until the second quarter of 2018 to finalize."

According to Minnesota Public Radio, state regulators had wanted a final decision on Line 3 by April 2018, but O'Reilly's ruling could push that decision to June 2018 or even later.

"It's very disappointing to see yet another in an endless string of delays imposed on a project that will create jobs, protect the environment and provide access to the fuel that drives our economy and society," Nancy Norr, a spokesperson for Jobs for Minnesotans, which supports the pipeline, told Minnesota Public Radio.

But Margaret Levin, state director for the Sierra Club North Star Chapter, praised the decision, and said the judge "should take the time necessary to make a thorough and well-informed decision on Line 3."

"It is the responsibility of our government to adequately understand and weigh the environmental and cultural impacts of a project like this when making a decision," Levin said.

Check out this Honor the Earth video below to learn about the growing movement against Line 3:

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A. Battenburg / Technical University of Munich

By Sarah Kennedy

Algae in a pond may look flimsy. But scientists are using algae to develop industrial-strength material that's as hard as steel but only a fraction of the weight.



Read More Show Less
Variety of fermented food korean traditional kimchi cabbage and radish salad. white and red sauerkraut in ceramic plates over grey spotted background. Natasha Breen / REDA&CO / Universal Images Group / Getty Image

By Anne Danahy, MS, RDN

Even if you've never taken probiotics, you've probably heard of them.

These supplements provide numerous benefits because they contain live microorganisms, such as bacteria or yeast, which support the healthy bacteria in your gut (1, 2, 3, 4).

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Pexels

Singapore will become the first country in the world to place a ban on advertisements for carbonated drinks and juices with high sugar contents, its health ministry announced last week. The law is intended to curb sugar consumption since the country has some of the world's highest diabetes rates per capita, as Reuters reported.

Read More Show Less

A typical adult takes around 20,000 breaths per day. If you live in a megacity like Beijing, with many of those lungfuls you're likely to inhale a noxious mixture of chemicals and pollutants.

Read More Show Less
Fred Stone holds his brown swiss cow Lida Rose at his Arundel dairy farm on March 18 after a press conference where he spoke about PFAS chemical contamination in his fields. Gregory Rec / Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

By Susan Cosier

First there was Fred Stone, the third-generation dairy farmer in Maine who discovered that the milk from his cows contained harmful chemicals. Then came Art Schaap, a second-generation dairy farmer in New Mexico, who had to dump 15,000 gallons of contaminated milk a day.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Protesters attend the 32nd annual Fur-Free Friday demonstration on Nov. 23, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. Ella DeGea / Getty Images

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law a bill that that bans the sale and manufacture of fur products in the state. The fur ban, which he signed into law on Saturday, prohibits Californians from selling or making clothing, shoes or handbags with fur starting in 2023, according to the AP.

Read More Show Less
Watchfield Solar Park in England. RTPeat / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

By Simon Evans

During the three months of July, August and September, renewables generated an estimated total of 29.5 terawatt hours (TWh), compared with just 29.1TWh from fossil fuels, the analysis shows.

Read More Show Less
A demonstrator waves an Ecuadorian flag during protests against the end of subsidies to gasoline and diesel on Oct. 9 in Quito, Ecuador. Jorge Ivan Castaneira Jaramillo / Getty Images

The night before Indigenous Peoples' Day, an Indigenous-led movement in Ecuador won a major victory.

Read More Show Less