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White Earth Reservation Business Committee voices opposition to Line 3

WHITE EARTH, MINN. — The White Earth Reservation Business Committee (RBC) continues to strongly oppose Enbridge's proposed Line 3 replacement project.

"Clearly, any benefit the pipeline will provide for its Canadian owners is outweighed by the risks the tar sands pipeline will present to the residents, the environment, the waters, the wild rice, and many other things that we value," reads a press release from RBC.

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has issued a certificate of need and a pipeline routing permit to Enbridge, which are two of the permits that Enbridge must have before construction of the Line 3 pipeline may begin. The RBC strongly disputes the PUC's conclusion that the Line 3 pipeline is "needed," particularly considering that Enbridge currently transports 2.7 million barrels of crude oil each day on its mainline pipeline system, which consists of six pipelines.

"If they are operating at 100 percent capacity, the two oil refineries in Minnesota process a total of 400,000 barrels of crude oil per day. Because the applicable law requires that the 'need' for a pipeline be determined by the demand for crude oil in the Minnesota region, and because there is an excess of 2.3 million barrels per day beyond the needs of the Minnesota region, which is currently transported on the Enbridge mainline, it is clear that the PUC determination of need relied on the demands of the global market," further states the release. "The PUC is permitting Canadian shippers, speculators in the crude oil market, to use global demand for crude oil to justify the need for another pipeline."

The Line 3 preferred route travels through the 1855 Treaty Ceded territory, which the RBC says puts at risk sacred wild rice lakes and rice beds, along with an area where Native American rights to hunt, fish and gather continue to remain intact. The RBC maintains this decision was made without the Minnesota Department of Commerce properly consulting with the impacted tribal nations.

"The RBC is in opposition of any structure that comes on or near the White Earth Reservation lands or the 1855 Ceded territories that further puts our natural resources in jeopardy," said White Earth Reservation Chairman Terry Tibbetts, adding, "I encourage all members to stay informed on this activity."