Skip to main content

Environmental group argues Line 3 pipeline replacement is no longer needed

Honor the Earth filed the petition with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission Tuesday.

A Minnesota environmental group is asking the state to reconsider the proposed Enbridge Line 3 pipeline replacement project through Northern Minnesota, stating that the Canadian energy company no longer needs it thanks to expanded capacity on other pipelines.

On Tuesday, Honor the Earth filed a petition with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, asking the agency to investigate how efficiency and capacity improvements made by Enbridge over recent years impact the need for the Line 3 project.

The Enbridge Line 3 crude oil pipeline replacement will allow transportation of crude oil in Minnesota, Eastern Canada and other neighboring states. The project will increase capacity by replacing the existing 34-inch diameter pipeline with a 36-inch diameter pipeline.

The project recently received two of the ten necessary approvals from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

However, the petition filed by Honor the Earth claims that capacity additions made by Enbridge between 2016 and 2019, including to lines 2, 4 and 65, have allowed the company to import an additional 400,000 barrels through Minnesota per day.

Honor the Earth also points to expansions to Lines 4 and 67 that would increase capacity by 178,400 barrels of crude oil per day.

Coupled with a decreased demand for Canadian crude oil due to COVID-19, the petition claims that the existing expansions outweigh the need for the Line 3 project, which it says would bring in 370,000 barrels per day.

“Together, these efficiency-based expansions create far more capacity than would be provided by the proposed Line 3 Pipeline’s net capacity increase of 370,000 bpd,” said Paul Blackburn, staff attorney for Honor the Earth, in a statement. “As a result, Enbridge has already met the need that formed the basis for the PUC’s approval of the Line 3 Replacement Project.”

Follow Bring Me The News on News Break

Enbridge acknowledged ongoing efforts to increase capacity and efficiency in a statement to the Star Tribune.

“There have been several initiatives that Enbridge has implemented in recent years to optimize its pipeline network to better meet customer demands,” the statement reads 

“We’ve talked about these optimizations and efficiency-led capacity increases in a variety of public forums.”

The latest forecast from Novak Weather

Next Up

Arctic Monkeys

Arctic Monkeys coming to Minnesota for 2023 tour

The rock band hasn't gone on tour in the United States since 2019.

Flickr - Menards store front - Mike Kalasnik

Multiple charges over protests after fatal Menards forklift incident

The charges range from trespassing, destruction of property and assault.

Life Link

Boy airlifted after being struck by driver in Elk River

The boy is reportedly a student at Spectrum High School.

Woodbury mn

Fortune's Top 25 places to live for families includes Woodbury

The media outlet says it analyzed 215,000 data points for almost 2,000 cities and towns across the U.S.


Iconic Dangerfield's Restaurant sells, with buyer planning new concept

Dangerfield's Restaurant quietly sold recently after more than 30 years in business.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Charges: Minneapolis shooter photographed 'lifeless' body before fleeing

Charges filed against an accomplice reveal new details about the death of Chante Williams.

Maple grove fire

5 youths are 'persons of interest' in Maple Grove greenhouse fire

Police say it's being investigated as a possible arson.

Dave Hutchinson

Dave Hutchinson has police license suspended for 30 days

The sheriff's suspension will begin on Nov. 22.

minnesota bureau of criminal apprehension - bca

Man with sword, officers who shot him in North Branch identified

The 31-year-old was shot multiple times in the Friday incident.

Jeff Plush

MN-based USA Curling 'reviewing' report that CEO ignored abuse in NWSL

Jeff Plush is under fire for multiple allegations made by U.S. women soccer players.


enbridge energy line 3

Oil will flow through Enbridge's Line 3 pipeline starting Friday

The controversial project is complete, Enbridge says.

Preferred Line 3 route

Walz administration files appeal against Line 3 pipeline

The action is the latest in a year-long process surrounding the controversial project.

enbridge line 3

Minnesota DNR grants 2 approvals for Line 3 pipeline

The Enbridge pipeline replacement project would replace a crude oil pipeline in northern Minnesota.

enbridge energy line 3

MN appeals court upholds Line 3 pipeline approval

The decision is a blow to Tribal leaders and environmentalists fighting the project.

jane fonda line 3

Jane Fonda in MN to join in protests of Line 3 pipeline

Construction on the Minnesota portion of the pipeline began in December.

Flickr - Enbridge Line 3 Palisade - Lorie Shaull

DNR temporarily suspends some of Enbridge's Line 3 surface water permits

The ongoing drought has led to worryingly low stream flow levels in some areas.

Enbridge Line 3

Line 3 pipeline worker rescued after being trapped underwater

It happened in Hubbard County, northwestern Minnesota.