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After regulatory redo, Minnesota regulators again approve Line 3 pipeline

Final Line 3 Replacement Project route
Final Line 3 Replacement Project route

Well that was anti-climactic. MPR’s Dan Kraker reports: “Months after a court decision threw its future into question, the Line 3 pipeline replacement project is moving closer to regaining the permits it needs to begin construction. … The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission voted 3 to 1 Monday on three key approvals for the project: a revised environmental review, a certificate of need and a route permit.

Part of the housing affordability picture. Also at MPR, Martin Moylan reports: “Most people who own a home also own the land under it. But that’s not the case with an ownership model that has put hundreds of low-income Minnesotans into homes — and could provide a path to homeownership for thousands more. … Nonprofit community land trusts offer an untraditional model for homeownership, one in which a trust owns the land and homeowners own the home. The arrangement provides a substantial subsidy that sticks with the property from owner to owner, typically keeping the selling price of a home tens of thousands of dollars below what it would fetch on the open market.”

Train … not in vain? The Winona Daily News’ Josh De Larosa reports: “A second passenger train traveling to and from Saint Paul to Chicago, with stops in Winona and La Crosse, is very nearly a likelihood, but there are still many pieces that need to fall into place. … Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced Jan. 10 that $10 million in funding for the Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago Second Train project is included in his 2020 bonding proposal.

But that last part is just a coincidence. WCCO reports:A mushroom-growing business in the industrial area of north Minneapolis is closing amid conflicts with the city over zoning and fire code violations. … Ian Silver-Ramp, the president and founder of Mississippi Mushrooms, announced last week that the operation on Washington Avenue was shutting down this month, despite last year being its most successful on record. … Solutions were purposed, such as rezoning the warehouse and applying to change the zoning ordinance, but the timeline of the solutions would butt up against the plans for the Upper Harbor Terminal project.

In other news…

Today’s viral story:Coronavirus is having an impact on supply chain, Minnesota companies” [KSTP]

Cars, man:Violence on the road: Criminal vehicular homicide sentences ‘all over the map,’ but why?” [KMSP]

Breaking through:DNR Warns Of Unpredictable Ice Depths Across Minnesota: ‘You Can’t Go By The Calendar’” [WCCO]

Got a spare $2 million and a huge ego?Ramsey County to sell naming rights to expanding Vadnais Heights sports complex” [Star Tribune]

At least her last months were comfortable:One of the oldest known lionesses in captivity dies at Sandstone sanctuary” [Star Tribune]

After paying a separate, larger federal fine:Prince doctor to pay $4K civil penalty for prescription” [KSTP]

Hardware Hank hangs it up: “St. Paul hardware store to close after nearly 100 years in business” [KSTP]

Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by James Hamilton on 02/04/2020 - 02:30 pm.

    I’ve always been and remain skeptical about the efficiency and viability of a second train between the Twin Cities and Chicago, along with dreams of high speed rail to Chicago and Duluth.

    I was disappointed to see no real justification for the proposed second train in the linked piece. ($180,000 in additional economic activity for Rochester is underwhelming in light of the likely cost of the project.)

    I will watch the Legislature for some more substantial justification for the investment.

  2. Submitted by richard owens on 02/04/2020 - 03:40 pm.

    This is not “OIL”. It is bitumen, scraped from hundreds of acres of what WAS timberland, diluted so it will run in a pipe to a substance called DILBIT, which, when it spills (and the spills are many) will float, suspend and sink in water.

    It is impossible to clean up and it has special laws written to protect the companies whose investment can ruin others’ for a lifetime.

    Line 5, which is currently in danger of rupture under the Mackinac Straits, has been eroded by water currents running between Upper Peninsula and Michigan proper. Water movements have left the pipe exposed where it has been struck with an anchor from a Great Lakes ship.

    The old Line 3 has not been cleaned up and they will probably simply abandon it in place.

    Enbridge has a bad record anyone can find easily by searching the web.

    Judges should have good judgement, but the real job is to be done by PUC. WE DON’T NEED TAR SANDS OIL. It is arguably the worst of fossil fuel pollutants.

    Even if treaties are to be broken once again, the reasons are unjustifiable. Consider fossil fuel powered vehicles will not be sold in developed countries in a mere 10 or 125 years if we are to solve this existential problem.

    Those who would support this or invest in it– WAKE UP PLEASE!

    Look at the tar sands once again:

    • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 02/05/2020 - 11:41 am.

      Oil is oil and we will continue to need as much as we can get for many decades to come. The ICE isn’t going away in any of our lifetimes. Fossil fuels are the most energy dense fuels known to man (except possibly nuclear reactors). Electric cars are just another fad, an expensive and inefficient fad at that.

      The pipelines are by the safest and cleanest way to transport oil.

      • Submitted by richard owens on 02/06/2020 - 10:05 am.

        “Tar sands are the dirtiest source of oil on Earth. This extreme source of oil is currently being mined mainly in Alberta Canada, however, oil companies are now pursuing tar sands mines in the U.S. West. Tar sands are composed of clay, sand, water, and bitumen (a heavy black hydrocarbon).”

        Enbridge’s spill record is also Googleable.

        “…Enbridge is behind a number of major spills, most notoriously in 2010 when an Enbridge line spilled more than 800,000 gallons into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan—creating the biggest inland oil spill in U.S. history.

        “We have a pipeline system with a history of problems running through our country’s largest source of surface freshwater, and it happens to be operated by the company responsible for one of the largest inland oil spills in North America,” said Mike Shriberg, executive director for the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Regional Center.”

        Would you like this pipeline running over your land? They have no intention of removing the old one, which will continue to pollute for generations.

        The tribes do not all want their lands crossed. Is breaking more treaties ethical, moral or even economical? (NO!)

        • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 02/07/2020 - 03:13 pm.

          Yep pay me some $ for using my land and you can bury that pipeline right across it.

          You seem to ignore how many billions of gallons of oil and gas are pumped thru pipelines every year in the US. 800,000 gallons in 1 spill is a drop in the bucket. The rate of spills is far, far less than oil tankers or trains or even trucks. Pipelines are by far the cleanest and safest way to move oil. You also seem to forget that oil is a naturally occurring substance and the Earth will clean it up Just as we saw with the oil rig in the Gulf…bacteria took care of much of it and the rest sank to the ocean floor where more bacteria got rid of more of it.

          As for the old line, they’ll likely clean it out and seal it off… no need to worry about it as nothing left to leak.

          Fossil Fuels have the highest energy density known to man (with the possible exception of nuclear ). It is foolish to refuse to use it and also extremely inefficient and expensive to use other forms of energy. If you want a poor society and broke economy, keep using inefficient energy. If you want a thriving, booming economy then stick with oil and gas and coal.

          • Submitted by richard owens on 02/09/2020 - 08:52 am.

            Money cannot replace what nature provided the North Country.

            Antarctica is now melting too, and the 2015 temperature record was shattered recently at 65 degrees.

            Your view ignores all the science. It is as if you ignore all of the climate disasters right in our face. Your view is unaffordable and unsustainable in practice.

            I predict the most catastrophic wildfires the world has every seen when those Tar Sands go off. Money will be useless to stop it. I wonder if that would change your view.

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