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US State appeals court upholds approval of Minnesota pipeline

09:55  20 june  2021
09:55  20 june  2021 Source:   thehill.com

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A Minnesota appeals court on Monday sided with regulators who approved a controversial new section for an oil pipeline passing through the state . “The [Public Utilities Commission] approved a new pipeline that benefits Canadian oil producers but traverses 340 miles of Minnesota land, which among other negative consequences will affect hunting, fishing, and other rights of relators Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians and White Earth Band of Ojibwe, with no benefit to Minnesota ,” Reyes wrote.

ELAINE QUIJANO: A Minnesota appeals court is upholding a key permit for a controversial oil pipeline project. The ruling says a Canadian energy company was correctly granted permission to replace a corroded crude oil pipeline currently running at half capacity. The Line 3 Pipeline project has As you reported, there were hundreds of people on the ground who are fighting it, a lot of people, a lot of veterans of the Dakota Access to Standing Rock fight. So far, though, they haven't had much success. As you mentioned, the state court today upheld the state 's decision to approve the pipeline .

A Minnesota appeals court on Monday sided with regulators who approved a controversial new section for an oil pipeline passing through the state.

a group of people posing for the camera: State appeals court upholds approval of Minnesota pipeline © Getty Images State appeals court upholds approval of Minnesota pipeline

In a 2-1 ruling, the court sided with the state Public Utilities Commission, which had given Canadian company Enbridge Energy the go-ahead on the pipeline's Minnesota segment.

The proposed 337-mile section has drawn fierce opposition from a coalition of conservationists and tribal groups. The groups, along with the state Department of Commerce, argued in court that Enbridge had not properly demonstrated sufficient demand for oil to build that part of the pipeline. More than a thousand protesters gathered last week in Northern Minnesota to oppose the line's construction.

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Construction will continue on Enbridge's Line 3 oil pipeline in Northern Minnesota after an appellate court affirmed a key permit. Hundreds of people have been arrested for protesting the project, citing environmental concerns. Dan Kraker, a reporter for Minnesota Public Radio, joins CBSN's "Red & Blue" host Elaine Quijano with the latest on the controversy. Copyright © 2021 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved.

I cover the economy and the environment of Northeastern Minnesota . Retweets not endorsements. Country. Code. For customers of. United States . A very unjust court decision upholding very unjust permits!

In Monday's ruling, Judges Lucinda Jesson and Michael Kirk wrote that both the existing, "deteriorating" Line 3 segment and the construction of a new one pose environmental risks.

"There was no option without impacts on the rights of indigenous peoples. The challenge: to alleviate those harms to the extent possible," they wrote. "And there was no crystal ball to forecast demand for crude oil in this ever-changing environment."

"When balancing harms and predicting future demand, the commission is due deference. It is the agency tasked with these difficult decisions," the two judges continued. "With this deference in mind we affirm the commission's adequacy ... and its decisions to issue a certificate of need and routing permit for the Line 3 replacement."

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A Minnesota appeals court on Monday sided with regulators who approved a controversial new section for an oil pipeline passing through the state . Crude oil hits highest price in nearly three years Haaland recommends full restoration of monuments Trump altered: report NATO tackling climate change for first time EPA to reinstate air pollution panel disbanded under Trump Biden land management pick faces GOP scrutiny over decades-old tree spiking case State appeals court upholds approval of Minnesota pipeline Company warns of 'imminent radiological threat' after

The Minnesota Court of Appeals , created in 1983, is the intermediate appellate court in Minnesota and was designed to relieve the volume of cases that go to the Minnesota Supreme Court . It is the responsibility of the Court of Appeals to provide citizens with prompt and deliberate review of all final

In a dissent, however, Judge Peter Reyes wrote that the commission had "acted arbitrarily or capriciously" and granted Enbridge "a certificate of need that is unsupported by substantial evidence."

Reyes said the agency had misinterpreted statutory definitions of energy demand forecasts, and did not properly analyze whether there would be demand specifically in Minnesota for the oil supplied by the pipeline. He further argued that it failed to incorporate environmental risks into its decision.

"The [Public Utilities Commission] approved a new pipeline that benefits Canadian oil producers but traverses 340 miles of Minnesota land, which among other negative consequences will affect hunting, fishing, and other rights of relators Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians and White Earth Band of Ojibwe, with no benefit to Minnesota," Reyes wrote.

The Line 3 pipeline, part of a $9 billion expansion approved by the Army Corps of Engineers during the Trump administration, would carry nearly 800,000 barrels a day of tar-sands oil from Northern Minnesota into Wisconsin.

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The second state regulatory contest over Line 3 is to be later this summer or in the fall, at a permit hearing called by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to review technical environmentalist objections. “We have planned for various permitting scenarios with the objective of accelerating and completing construction of this important safety and maintenance driven project within six to nine months after we receive final permits.” Minnesota allows court appeals against regulatory agency decisions.

The Nebraska Supreme Court upheld the decision of regulators who voted in November 2017 to green-light a route through the state . The high court on Friday sided with the state , saying the Public Service Commission is the agency responsible for determining which pipeline route is in the public interest, and that it did so after months of consideration. “We find there is sufficient evidence to support the PSC’s determination that the (alternative route) is in the public interest,” Justice Jeffrey Funke wrote for the court .

The fight over the project has intensified since Keystone XL announced last week it would abandon that pipeline, emboldening environmental and tribal activists.

In a statement after the decision, Vern Yu, Enbridge executive vice president and president of liquids pipelines, said: "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. From the start, the project has been about improving safety and reliability for communities and protecting the environment."

Tara Houska, founder of Giniw Collective, a tribal advocacy group that has led opposition to Line 3, called the pipeline "an abomination to climate science and human rights" and said efforts to halt it would continue.

"Our resistance is clearly growing," she said in a press call after the court ruling. "We cannot stop and we will not stop."

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This is interesting!