Does the influx of letters supporting Line 3 jobs mean we’re willing to sacrifice other jobs for these few?
Here’s what it looks like to me.
As the oil industry dies, the Walz Administration just gave permits for a new tar sands pipeline to a Canadian oil corporation. There is no urgency for this pipeline as Enbridge currently operates with an excess unused capacity of 400,000 barrels per day; more than the new Line 3 would provide.
Meanwhile, we have a surging pandemic that is not only making people sick and taking them from their jobs, but, in some instances, literally killing them. Our entire population is at risk from this virus.
Our hospitals -- with limited beds -- are filling. More important is the overwhelming feeling our health care workers have after almost a year now of Coronavirus containment.
Cornerstone Nursing and Rehab in Bagley called on the National Guard this past week to support their diminished staff. Minnesota at large is seeing increased community spread among health care workers with Dr. Marc Gorelick reporting at Walz’ Nov. 9 briefing that over 200 Children’s Minnesota staff were affected. On PBS’s Nov. 13 Almanac, Dr. Rahul Koranne, head of the Minnesota Hospital Association, noted an Nov. 11 spot check of their system showed “over 6,000 of our frontline health care heroes were out of service in our hospitals.” Bed counts mean nothing without qualified staff. And those figures are over a week old.
Exponential growth is a tough concept for the human brain. In Minnesota it means that our first 1,000 dead came by May 30 (4-5 months), our second 1,000 by Sept. 26 (4 months), our third by Nov. 18 (7.5 weeks), and, if trends continue, we’ll hit 4,000 dead before year’s end.
My answer: Delay Line 3. At least until the pandemic eases or we get a vaccine.
If you’re a local business person hoping for Line 3, have you done the full cost-benefit analysis? How many products must you sell to pay for the casket you may need if a family member dies of COVID-19 contracted from the community spread fueled by itinerant workers in our area? How many rental nights does it take to pay for a week-long ICU stay if you contract the virus from a Texas pipeliner?
I’d ask local politicians pushing for Line 3, “How many of your constituents are you willing to sacrifice to Enbridge profits?”