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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Enbridge celebrates 70 years in the community

I want to thank everyone who came to our open house community meetings last week in Bemidji, Grand Rapids and Floodwood.

We had more than 200 community members, elected officials, emergency responders and landowners turn out. Our Enbridge subject matter experts answered questions about how we maintain our pipelines, what we do to protect the environment, and how we're getting ready to replace Line 3.

In 2019, Enbridge celebrates 70 years in northern Minnesota. Seven decades in communities along the right of way like Thief River Falls, Bemidji, Deer River, Cass Lake, Grand Rapids and Floodwood. Since 1949 when we started construction on Line 1, Enbridge has worked to be a good neighbor and partner in the communities where we operate.

Safety, integrity and respect are our guiding principles, and define how we approach our relationships with our neighbors and landowners. We work hard to listen to all voices, gather feedback and improve our operations and maintenance projects. The real key to our relationships along the right of way is one we take very seriously ... the integrity of our system. We spend billions each year to maintain our pipeline system at the highest possible level.

Pipelines are and will continue to be the safest way to transport crude oil. Enbridge operates the largest and most complex liquids pipeline system in the world, and we've transported 14 billion barrels of crude oil with a safe delivery record of 99.999 per cent over the past 10 years.

Enbridge's pipeline system fuels our quality of life in Minnesota. Minnesotans consume more than 12.8 million gallons of petroleum products every day and without a source of domestic oil production, we rely entirely on imports to meet those energy needs. Minnesota's two refineries produce more than two-thirds of the state's petroleum products and 80% of these are refined from Canadian crude oil.

Our offices and facilities across Minnesota are home base to more than 300 Enbridge employees who live, work and recreate right here. Enbridge employees are happy to be active and engaged in communities where we operate. Since 2014 Enbridge has donated more than $3,800,000 to community organizations, and our employees routinely volunteer in their communities — you can find us at parades, county fairs, food drives and youth sporting events.

We hope you'll help us celebrate this year as we hold events commemorating 70 years in Minnesota, proudly working with our neighbors and communities, safely fueling life in this place we call home.

Trent Wetmore is the director Midwest Region, Liquid Pipeline US Operations, for Enbridge.