Deal puts proposed oil pipeline across northern Minnesota in doubt

Enbridge
Proposed Sandpiper pipeline project

On what may well be the demise of Sandpiper. MPR’s Dan Gunderson says this: “Enbridge Energy says it’s buying a stake in the Bakken Pipeline System, leaving unclear the future of the controversial Sandpiper line the company has proposed across northern Minnesota. The deal announced today includes two pipelines running from the Bakken oil fields to Illinois and Gulf Coast refineries, bypassing Minnesota. Calgary-based Enbridge will spend $1.5 billion on the deal.”

The Bloomberg story says, “Enbridge Energy Partners LP is forming a joint venture with Marathon to acquire a 49 percent interest in the holding company that owns 75 percent of the pipeline network, the companies said in separate statements. The Enbridge unit said it’s paying $1.5 billion for its share in the deal, while Marathon said it will come in with $500 million. The deal gives Enbridge the ability to move shale oil from the Bakken to refineries along the U.S. Gulf Coast, through connections to its mainline. Enbridge will seek to set joint tolls to the Gulf. The Bakken pipeline system consists of the Dakota Access Pipeline and Energy Transfer Crude Oil Pipeline. Dakota Access will run from western North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois, and the Energy Transfer line from Patoka to Nederland, Texas. The deal follows the startup of the Southern Access Extension, which was in service as of January, linking Enbridge’s mainline terminals near Chicago to the storage hub in Patoka.

The Strib editorial board doesn’t like the idea of a $15 minimum wage ballot measure. “Not surprisingly, business interests oppose the effort, both because they believe it’s a misuse of the city’s charter and because of the impact on the cost structure of city businesses. Although economists have mixed views on the damage done to employment, most acknowledge that at a certain level, higher minimums lead to fewer jobs for unskilled workers — the same people the advocates in Minneapolis are trying to help.”

Also mixing with the people. The local Fed chief. Peter Cox of MPR: “The president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis met with activists and northside residents Wednesday over racial and economic disparities. Neel Kashkari talked with leaders from Neighborhoods Organizing for Change for an hour — an unusual meeting of a banking insider and a group known for street demonstrations and putting political pressure on the powers that be. ‘A big part of my job is to get out and understand first hand what is happening, what are the challenges’, said Kashkari who has served on the central bank system since January.”

Speaking of the people, their stadium held its first big event. U.S. Bank Stadium hosted an meaningless game between European soccer powers A.C. Milan and Chelsea. Reports the Strib’s Rochelle OlsonThe operation wasn’t flawless, but nobody expected it would be. Many of the biggest things went well: The air inside was cool and fresh despite the staggering August heat outside. The 64,101 fans were mostly in their purple seats by the start of the game. Judging from the cheers for the first goal, some people even paid attention to what was happening on the grass at the center of it all.

Have you begun thinking about your Christmas shopping list? Stribber Paul Walsh reports, “A battery-powered hoverboard that was being charged is believed responsible for starting a fire at a central Minnesota horse ranch and home that killed four dogs and injured a woman last month, state safety officials said Wednesday. The blaze attributed to the hands-free, self-balancing scooter occurred July 21 at the Paffrath Horse Ranch, just east of New London. The home suffered heavy smoke and water damage.”

He lived quite a life. In the Strib, Chris Miller posts the obituary for Mark and Zygi Wilf’s father. “Joseph Wilf passed away August 3, 2016 peacefully at his home with his family at his side. … The Wilfs married in 1949, and immigrated to the United States in 1950. In 1954 Joseph and his brother Harry founded Garden Homes, a real estate development company based in New Jersey. Garden Homes is now one of the largest real estate companies in the United States and in Israel building thousands of homes, offices, stores, and hotels over the past 62 years.”

It is an unusual year. Mark Steil, also of MPR reports from Farmfest that, “At an event where talk about politics is as common as talk about corn prices, participants were unusually undecided and reticent about the presidential candidates. Nationally, farmers are overwhelmingly inclined to vote Republican, according to the 2016 Agri-Pulse Communications Producer Survey. One farmer, who said he typically votes Republican, declined an interview request but threw up his hands, asking ‘is this the best we can do?'”

New York always sees us as “nice,” even with Ted Nugent involved. Says Ethan Sacks for the Daily News, “The ‘Catch Scratch Fever’ crooner regularly offends liberals with chestnuts like, ‘If Islam is the religion of peace, then I’m a malnourished, tofu-eating anti-hunter.’ In a 2007 concert rant caught on video, Nugent called ‘Obama, he’s a piece of s–t.’ ‘I told him to suck on my machine gun,’ he added for the benefit of the California crowd. On Wednesday, Bud Light pulled its sponsorship of a Nugent show in Peoria, Illinois, scheduled for Saturday, after protesters deluged the brewer with social media outrage. … In a show of just how polite Freeborn County can be, the protestors will hold an anti-Nugent rally and rival fair Friday at another park a mile away so as not to be rude to the concert-goers.”

And then there was down ballot from The Donald. In the PiPress, David Montgomery writes, “Studies show many Americans have trouble naming their representative in Congress, but that shouldn’t be a problem for many Minnesotans: Members of Congress in the North Star State tend to stay around. Rep. Keith Ellison, for example, is just the fourth person to represent the 5th District since 1945. In the 7th and 8th districts, Reps. Collin Peterson and Rick Nolan are the fifth to hold their seat in that same time frame. Overall, Minnesota U.S. representatives have an average postwar tenure of 11 years, a Pioneer Press analysis found. That’s several years above the average House-wide tenure over those same seven decades, according to the Congressional Research Service.”

Sugar water … it’s a gateway drug. The Forum News Service story says, “A vintage soda-vending machine in a Red Wing home was a “well-concealed safe” hiding cash, marijuana and other drugs, authorities say. According to a complaint filed July 11 with Goodhue County District Court, seven law enforcement officials executed a search warrant at the residence of Devin Scott Hinck, 21. They reported finding multiple types of illegal substances packaged in different quantities throughout the home. They also spotted an unplugged Pepsi soda machine with a barrel key-style lock that matched a barrel key found on Hinck’s key ring. When they opened it, they found the pop machine had been hollowed out and lined with plywood and ‘was being used as a well-concealed safe,’ the complaint states.”

Considering all the construction, I’m surprised anyone was clocked over 30 mph. Also from the Forum folks: “That number is down 3,196 from a similar two-week speed enforcement focus by more than 300 law enforcement agencies resulted in 13,215 speeding citations a year ago, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety said. During the campaign, 19 agencies reported speeds of 100 mph or more. The highest: a driver was clocked going 120 mph by Rosemount police. Some of the reasons drivers gave to police for speeding included trying to get to McDonald’s before they closed, or trying to get home with multiple boxes of frozen meat before they thawed.”

Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Pat Berg on 08/04/2016 - 07:51 am.

    “Catch Scratch Fever”?

    Yup, I checked the article. That’s actually what it says.

    Sheesh!

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