Appeals Court ruling on Line 3 met with criticism and cheer

The Minnesota Appeals Court’s Line 3 ruling earlier this week has been met with criticism and cheer.

The court was asked to determine if the Public Utilities Commission was correct in issuing a certificate of need for the multi-billion-dollar project across northern Minnesota.

“We are very disappointed that the Court of Appeals upheld the PUC’s decision to issue the certificate of need,” White Earth Reservation Business Committee Chairman Michael Fairbanks said.

“Despite the Court’s ruling, the White Earth Reservation remains steadfast in our opposition to the construction of this unnecessary and dangerous pipeline.”

“We will never stop the fight to protect our future generations and children,” Chairman Fairbanks continued.

“White Earth must continue protecting our natural resources, including food sovereignty. It is important to understand that this fierce protection of our water and food is our human right and that if the pipeline construction continues, it will most definitely impact our children’s future, including our culture and our way of life.”

White Earth was joined in their appeal of the PUC permit by the Red Lake Nation, Friends of the Headwaters, and Honor the Earth.

“After six years of community engagement, environmental review, regulatory and legal review, it’s good to see confirmation of previous decisions on the Line 3 Replacement Project,” said Vern Yu, Enbridge Executive Vice President and President Liquids Pipelines.

“From the start, the project has been about improving safety and reliability for communities and protecting the environment.”

“The ruling is yet another reminder that the project, which will reduce spill risks and protect tribal resources by moving the pipeline off the Leech Lake Reservation while creating thousands of union jobs, has met every legal test,” President of the Laborers’ International Union of North America’s North Dakota and Minnesota chapter Joel Smith said.

“Opponents had their day in court, and now it’s time to work together to ensure that the project is completed in a safe and timely manner.”

Crews have completed construction for the Canada, North Dakota, and Wisconsin segments.

The new pipeline is about 60 percent complete in Minnesota and is expected to be complete late this year, according to Enbridge’s statement.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north-central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment, and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji and enjoys spending her spare time with her son Logan, daughter Brigid, and pets Vincent and Piper. She also loves reading, Star Trek, and gardening... badly.


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