In January, Joe Biden unveiled his “Build Back Better” plan with pink slips to 11,000 workers connected to the Keystone XL Pipeline in January.
“We can put people to work in good jobs,” Biden pledged on the opening day, hours before the new president revoked Keystone’s permission to bring Canadian tar sands oil through Nebraska to the refineries of the Gulf Coast.
Nine months later, another Canadian oil pipeline successfully crossed the finish line to complete construction of a new route from the same source similarly attacked by environmental activists.
Earlier this month, oil began flowing through the newly built Line 3 replacement pipeline from Alberta’s oil sands, which runs a 337-mile stretch through Minnesota to the Northwestern Wisconsin’s upper terminal, just on the Duluth border.
Pipeline operations, which are expected to carry 760,000 barrels at full capacity by mid-month, could be considered a triumph in an administration hostile to the development of fossil fuels.
The White House’s silence on the construction of Line 3, however, has left activists frustrated by an early victory with the halt of the Keystone project in the face of stalled progress on the green agenda.
A $ 3 billion insurance policy
The line 3 replacement project was launched by Calgary-based energy company Enbridge in 2017 after the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ordered the replacement of the aged pipes.
The existing line, mapped below by the company, had been in operation since the 1960s and had corroded after decades of use, becoming an environmental hazard causing dozens of leaks.
In 1991, a pipeline rupture spilled 1.7 million gallons of crude oil into the Prairie River, near Grand Rapids, Minnesota, into the largest oil spill in the U.S. interior.
He threatened to leak to the Mississippi. As the spill occurred in the winter, dense river ice allowed crews to prevent oil from reaching the American artery.
Recent Hurricane Ida reinforced valuable lessons about the fragile nature of decaying infrastructure.
Following the Category 4 storm that hit the Gulf Coast of Louisiana in August, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported 55 reports of spills, highlighting the importance of replacement projects in the absence of viable alternatives to scale to satisfy Green New Deal allies.
Instead of abandoning the pipeline, Enbridge began a $ 2.9 billion project to build a new one while cleaning up the old one.
Those with properties that encompass the obsolete pipe can decide, depending on the owner’s choice program, whether to leave the pipe on the ground or force the company to dig it up and dispose of the material.
According to the company’s website, the project generated at least 6,500 local jobs, pouring billions into local communities in the process, mostly in northern Minnesota.
Tyler Fjeld, a Floodwood mechanic who hosts fewer than 1,000 residents, said he has seen first-hand the benefits of the pipeline.
“They’ve spent a lot of money on the community,” Fjeld told The Federalist, citing businesses in his own store, one of two area car stores. Workers rent hotel rooms, service their vehicles in the city, and make frequent visits to local bars and restaurants. “They really stimulate our economy in a small town like this.”
Others in Floodwood were not bothered by the pipe in their own backyards, even after upstream construction crews drilled an aquifer in Clearwater County 150 miles northwest.
The accident resulted in a $ 3.3 million fine by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for the company’s apparent deviation from the construction plan that resulted in the release of 24 million gallons of water. underground. Enbridge has until Friday to cover the well he created and no charges have been filed as of this writing.
“Things will happen, that’s life,” said Karen Lace, a local Floodwood bar shop. “I have no objection to the pipe.”
While a new pipe is much safer than the old one, Fjeld said he had no concerns about the safety of the pipe.
“They have valves so far, so if an oil line breaks, that line shuts down almost simultaneously,” Fjeld said.
However, Line 3 protesters have pledged to move forward even as options to cancel the project diminish over alleged environmental concerns and tribal sovereignty.
Read the break in The Federalist
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