File photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Pipeline used to carry crude oil is shown at the Superior terminal of Enbridge Energy in Superior, Wis. Minnesota gov. Mark Dayton’s administration appealed a state regulatory panel’s approval of Enbridge Energy’s plan to replace its aging Line 3 oil pipeline across northern Minnesota.

Minnesota governor’s administration files Line 3 appeal

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration on Friday appealed a state regulatory panel’s approval of Enbridge Energy’s plan to replace its aging Line 3 oil pipeline across northern Minnesota.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce said the Public Utilities Commission got its decisions wrong because Enbridge did not introduce, and the panel did not properly evaluate, the kind of long-range oil demand forecast required by state law.

Dayton, who leaves office Jan. 7, said in a statement that he strongly supports the appeal. He said Enbridge “failed to demonstrate that Minnesota needs this pipeline to meet our future oil demand. In fact, most of the product would flow through our state to supply other states and countries.”

Line 3, which was built in the 1960s, crosses northern Minnesota and a corner of North Dakota on its way from Alberta to Enbridge’s terminal in Superior, Wisconsin. Enbridge says it’s increasingly subject to corrosion and cracking and can carry only about half its original capacity.

Environmental and tribal groups that have been fighting the project argue that the replacement will accelerate climate change because it will carry Canadian tar sands oil, which generates more climate-warming carbon dioxide during the production process than regular oil. They also say it risks oil spills in the Mississippi River headwaters region, including pristine waters where the Ojibwe harvest wild rice.

Those groups filed their appeals earlier in the week and welcomed the Commerce Department’s decision to join them.

The PUC decided this summer to grant a certificate of need and route permit for the project. It unanimously reaffirmed its approval of the certificate of need last month and the route permit last week, clearing the way for the opponents to turn to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

Enbridge spokeswoman Judi Kellner said in a statement that Dayton’s statement is “very disappointing and erroneous,” and that his Commerce Department’s claims “are not supported by evidence or Minnesota law.”

Kellner said Calgary, Alberta-based Enbridge provided multiple, detailed forecasts showing that there will be demand for the restored capacity on the Line 3 replacement for years to come, and that Enbridge believes the courts will affirm the PUC’s decisions.

While Dayton appointed all five members of the commission, the panel operates independently. The PUC issued a statement saying it stands by its decision to grant the certificate of need, the central issue in the appeals filed this week. Separate appeals of the route permit are expected later.

“The Commission based its decision in this proceeding on the applicable law and a full evidentiary record after vigorous input and participation by the litigants and the public,” the panel said.

Just Posted

Poll suggests Canadian trust in science falling, scientists thought ‘elitist’

A survey suggests that the trust Canadians place in science may be… Continue reading

Global postal union meets amid Trump threat to pull US out

GENEVA — The effects of President Donald Trump’s standoff with China could… Continue reading

Travel chaos, jobs lost as UK firm Thomas Cook collapses

LONDON — Hundreds of thousands of travellers were stranded across the world… Continue reading

Court hears disclosure arguments in Meng Wanzhou case

VANCOUVER — Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou’s case is scheduled to return to… Continue reading

Red Deer woman lives 102 years with humour, ‘gentle strength’ — and porridge

Minnie Deibert was surrounded by family and friends at her birthday party Sunday

Your community calendar

Tuesday Bower Place Community Association Seniors Card and Coffee party at 1:30… Continue reading

Mikkelson sees evidence of success in women’s hockey showcase in Toronto

TORONTO — Two-time Olympic gold medallist Meaghan Mikkelson woke up in her… Continue reading

Canada downs Mexico 109-53 in women’s basketball AmeriCup opener

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Jamie Scott had 21 points, including five… Continue reading

Pink and red combos, Hollywood gold on the Emmys carpet

NEW YORK — Julia Louis-Dreyfus stunned in classic Hollywood gold, Zendaya donned… Continue reading

‘Everest has not gone away:’ Sharon Wood tells story of historic summit in book

CANMORE, Alta. — More than three decades after becoming the first woman… Continue reading

Liberals pitch middle-class savings as second full week of campaign beckons

OTTAWA — The Liberals tried to turn the page on Justin Trudeau’s… Continue reading

Democrats blast latest Trump crisis. But what will they do?

WASHINGTON — A whistleblower’s complaint over President Donald Trump’s interactions with a… Continue reading

Face transplant recipient’s donor face now failing

MANCHESTER, N.H. — A woman who was severely burned in a domestic… Continue reading

Most Read