The Dayton administration is reviewing its options, but activists vow to appeal after the Public Utilities Commission Monday voted to move forward with Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline through northern Minnesota. The state Commerce Department warns Enbridge’s insurance against oil spills is not adequate. Nancy Norr with the group Jobs for Minnesotans disagrees. “They have the financial wherewithall to cover their liabilities, just as they did in Kalamazoo, Michigan,” she says. But Winona LaDuke with the group Honor the Earth argues Enbridge is vastly underestimating clean-up costs for oil spills. “Enbridge’s worst-case spill scenario is based on Kalamazoo, which they said was not catastrophic,” LaDuke says.
Opponents and supporters are now lobbying Governor-elect Tim Walz after the PUC’s decision. Norr with the group Jobs for Minnesotans says she delivered to Walz’s transition office hundreds of signed comment cards from supporters. “We wanted to be sure the Governor-elect and Lieutenant Governor-elect Flanagan heard from the supporters of this project, heard from local county commissioners, heard from labor and heard from the business community,” she says.
But LaDuke with Honor the Earth warns Enbridge’s insurance and assets are insufficient to cover clean-up costs of oil spills and says to Governor-elect Walz, “This is a time to be fiscally prudent for all of us. This is not a time to put us further in debt to a corporation with so much risk.”
Walz said just before the election he’s satisfied with an earlier decision by the Public Utilities Commission to let the project move forward.
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