There has been a lot of attention in the news lately about the pipeline protesters disrupting work on the pipeline. While folks certainly have the right to protest, we should also give attention to the wide-reaching benefits this construction project is bringing to cities like Bemidji.

Construction began a few months ago, and we quickly noticed an increase in traffic and new customers across the city. Last I heard, over 5,000 pipeliners are working on this project across northern Minnesota, after a year of many construction projects being delayed.

This is great news to these union laborers who are now back on the job.

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As I chat with folks in Bemidji, they are excited about the workers and the boost in customers they’ve brought to shops, hotels and restaurants to our city and region. Not only does this project include a more than $3 billion investment from Enbridge, but it brings jobs, millions of dollars in tax revenue, and pass-through customers for struggling businesses.

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I support pipeline opponents making their voices heard and getting attention in the press, but I wanted to make sure that both sides are shared.

There are incredible benefits from this pipeline being under construction, and it goes far beyond just the pipeline. Remember to look at the full picture, and with the Line 3 pipeline project that includes small businesses along the pipeline route and all the families those jobs support.

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