LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Editorial leaves a lot to be desired
The Pioneer Sandpiper editorial (April 18) leaves a lot to be desired. Yes, we all use and need oil. Does that mean that the oil industry can place pipelines across our country anyplace they want? Does the industry know something we do not? They must, because Enbridge stockpiled pipe along their proposed route. This was done long before the hearings and recent "certificate of need" recommendation of Judge Lipman. Approval is still needed by Minnesota Department of Commerce (DOC) and Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Arrogance?
North Dakota apparently has extremely lax oil laws. Read Jim Fuglie's "The Prairie Blog" on North Dakota oil and coal history. Minnesota some years back moved pipeline environmental review from the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board (MEQB) to the DOC and PUC. Now we have a pro-industry group doing a "quickie review" and then approval. Talk about the fox watching the hen house.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Department of Natural Resources expressed concerns over the Enbridge proposed Sandpiper route and suggested the consideration of several alternate routes. These agencies also expressed concern with the Department of Commerce's process of evaluating pipeline routes and wanted to be brought into the process earlier, not after the fact as is being done now. Both agencies also suggested that corridors with the least impact to Minnesotans and our environment be established as a guide to the industry for future pipelines. We sincerely hope that environmental review of these projects are placed back under MEQB regulations and these corridors are established. More arrogance? Yes! Enbridge apparently has stated that it's their proposed route or no pipeline through Minnesota.
Another question: How many pipelines do we need? There is talk of four or five pipelines being considered to transport the Bakken oil. Enbridge apparently is looking at a line going across Canada to the east coast. The Dakota Access is proposed to go to Patoka, Ill. The Bakken Crude Express would go to Cushing, Okla. Another pipeline is proposed to go west to Wyoming. Enbridge is also running into opposition for their proposed line to take Sandpiper oil from Superior through Wisconsin to Illinois.
A great big "thank you" to all those that brought this issue to the forefront. As a result of your persistence, It is highly likely we will see better state regulations on the oil industry.