Duluth and Superior mayors support Enbridge pipeline projects

The mayors of Duluth, Minn., and Superior, Wis., are supporting major new pipeline projects that will affect the Twin Ports area.

Duluth’s Don Ness and Superior’s Bruce Hagen said today that the expansion — which includes a new pipeline from western North Dakota to Superior, replacement of an old pipeline that would bring more oil to the area, and additional oil tanks — will be good for the area’s economy.

Superior is a major oil transportation and storage hub on the Great Lakes.

Ness told the Duluth News Tribune:

“In my mind, pipelines are the most responsible and safest way to transport oil. We are seeing the problems associated with moving crude by truck and rail — transporting by pipeline reduces the energy consumption and risk of accident to transport. Our decision is not whether crude will come from Canada or North Dakota, the question is whether it’s coming on rail or pipeline. In my mind, pipeline transport is the much better option.”

The Minnesota Environmental Partnership, though, criticized Ness, saying his support for such Enbridge projects as Alberta Clipper “doesn’t match his stated goals of protecting our climate and natural environment.”

Said the paper:

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is deciding whether to approve a certificate of need for the Alberta Clipper project, and this week, Enbridge is holding hearings across the pipeline route, including today in Cass Lake and Thursday in Floodwood at 10 a.m. and the Duluth Holiday Inn at 6:30 p.m.

The Alberta Clipper expansion also requires federal approval in addition to the state PUC approval. But that could be easier because the project won’t involve any new pipeline construction in new areas, unlike Keystone XL which would be an entirely new line.

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