PUC opens hearing on Enbridge Line 3 replacement

Final arguments start Monday to decide the fate of Enbridge Energy’s Line 3 crude oil pipeline from Canada across Minnesota. 

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, which will make the decision, has two days slated for testimony from both supporters and opponents of the proposal to replace the pipeline. 

Enbridge says the current line is old and needs constant repair. Opponents say a new, much larger pipeline is a threat to water quality and are preparing a major protest if it is approved. 

Activists on both sides packed the hearing room and an overflow room at the commission’s office in downtown St. Paul for the first day of public testimony. They are also demonstrating outside the building. 

Those testifying in favor of replacing the pipeline include unions representing workers who would work on building the new line and the shipping industry. Environmental groups and Native American tribes are testifying against the proposal. 

The commission has set aside two days next week for deliberations before issuing a decision.