Recently Minnesota Public Utilities Commissioner Joseph Sullivan was quoted as saying:
"We could put a lot of people to work when it's a hard time. It should be all hands on deck right now. There are a lot of people who could be put to work through these utility projects -- projects that also have a public benefit."
He's right, and I found this quote as a fitting response to our current challenges.
We should be actively looking for opportunities to put people back to work. The PUC has spent the last couple years pushing forward a project that it deemed valuable to the state of Minnesota. That project is the Line 3 Replacement Project.
Line 3 is a pipeline run by Enbridge Energy that supplies around 75% of the petroleum used in Minnesota refineries. This line is old and deteriorating and the company decided to commit to replacing Line 3 with a new state of the art one on its own dime.
This project will bring more than $2 billion to the area in northern Minnesota that it runs through. It will put thousands of union laborers to work and flood dollars into businesses that are undoubtedly hurting from our governor's shutdowns due to COVID-19.
The PUC has continued to approve this project even through it has received negative backlash from the environmentalist activists. That must mean that they feel like Minnesota will need that petroleum for the near future and onward.
We need to start construction on this project this year and quit delaying it. Not only does Minnesota need the energy, it's been clearly stated by people all over the world, country and state that people need to get back to work, and this is a no brainer way to do so.