I have lived and worked in northern Minnesota since before the original Line 3 was laid in the 60s. I can count on one hand the problems we have had with the several gas and oil pipelines that cross our land. As long as we have asphalt roads, use diesel and gasoline, plastics, fertilizers and a myriad of other products, we will need petroleum.

The safest and cheapest way to transport it is still well built, maintained and monitored pipelines. My experience with the pipelines is that they have always been professional, fair and worked hard to minimize the damage to our environment.

My biggest concern for citizens of northern Minnesota is not a pipeline, but the youth of our communities. Our priority should be the prevention and treatment for drug and alcohol abuse among the youth of our area.

We need to be investing in the education and training of the next generation. Developing well paying job opportunities and job training for the youth in our area should be at the top of our list.

Why should a majority of our youth have to move to a city to find a good job opportunity. We are surrounded by natural resources, let's make good use of them in providing for the future of our youth. Most would like to stay in the area. Let's give that choice.

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Maybe instead of tying someone to a tree or chaining ourselves to pipeline equipment, we should volunteer to mentor youth, or make ourselves available to our schools, churches and communities to provide wholesome activities for the next generation. The money and time spent on lawsuits, and protests would go a long way toward employment and job training for our future citizens.

The pipeline will go through, and our lakes, streams and land will be just fine, because the regulations and maintenance will keep it so. But what does our next generation have to look forward to if they want to live, work and raise their families in northern Minnesota as many of us have been privileged to do?

Our time and money ought to be invested in the future of our youth. Sixty plus years of experience tells us that we will be just fine with a new Line 3, but the future of our young people?