Enbridge Energy is speaking out on the Minnesota Department of Commerce's statement claiming Enbridge has failed to establish the need to replace the aging Line 3 oil pipeline across the northern region of the state. This after Governor Mark Dayton praised the DOC for their findings.
In filings this week with Public Utilities Commission, the agency says oil refineries in the region already have sufficient supplies and little capacity for processing more oil.
Enbridge disagrees, however, saying several refineries depend on their pipelines for the safe delivery of oil.
Governor Mark Dayton released a statement applauding the DOC's findings but says he'll await more information before expressing personal views on the project.
Representatives from Enbridge says it's their job to propose projects that fulfill requirements of their shippers and refiners.
Enbridge says a testimony filed by their oil shippers says, one of their partners, Flint Hills indicated they rely solely on Enbridge's pipeline system to transport their crude oil to refineries in Minneapolis.
Barry Simonson, Project Director for Line 3 Replacement says, "we do feel that the evidence we've provided in this whole permitting process is very robust in terms of the need for Line 3. This is a safe and reliable replacement project that we're proposing, line 3 is an existing pipeline."
During a water quality meeting in Ely Tuesday night, Governor Dayton reiterated his original statement and says the public hearing period will be an important process for those who oppose the line he says, "it [The DOC's Statement] involved controversy but that's the intention of the process and now there will be 30 days for Enbridge and others who disagree with that report to issue their views."
That process will begin on September 26 and will run through October.
Enbridge adds in November there will be an Evidentiary Hearing process, where the public can provide questions and comments prior to the Administrative Law judge providing a Findings of Facts report to the Public Utilities Commission to help guide them in their final decision on the project.
If all goes according to schedule, the PUC is expected to decide on Enbridge's certificate of need, and route permit applications in the spring of 2018.