The letter published in the 16 May 2021 edition of the Herald-Review in praise of the Enbridge Line 3 Pipeline currently under construction had so many misleading statements, that it is important that these be exposed. The saddest fact of all was that the letter writer is Dave Lange, a Hill City Council Member (HCCM) who should know better. 

The HCCM disputed that the oil industry is dying. Does he know why a Dutch Court demanded that SHELL Oil reduce its production to meet environmental goals in Europe?

Perhaps this HCCM could explain why the State of Michigan has told Enbridge that its Line 5 at the Strait of Mackinaw in Lake Michigan must cease operating. Perhaps people in Minnesota do not recall the Line 5 Oil Spill south of Grand Rapids, Michigan, into the Kalamazoo River, which discharges into Lake Michigan. None of that oil was recoverable from the river. Enbridge, as the responsible corporate industry, just roundly ignored the State of Michigan Governor’s demand. 

It could also be that this HCCM is unaware of the largest oil spill from Line 3 in Grand Rapids, Minn., of 1.7 MG (million gallons) in winter 1991, just north of Itasca Community College. How much did the businesses of Grand Rapids, Minn., benefit from that large spill that ended in the LaPrairie River? But a smaller spill of 0.25 MG occurred in Cohasset, Minn., in 2002. This latter spill did not happen in winter time, to help the recovery of the spilled oil. The one in Cohasset was simply burned as it was too difficult to recover. How much did the businesses in Cohasset benefit from that spill and subsequent air pollution? Enbridge, as the responsible Canadian corporate industry, has ignored its responsibilities in Minnesota. 

No matter how much the HCCM looks at the facts through his rose-colored glasses, as long as he does not have to drink an Enbridge spill in his morning coffee, his facts stay “real!”

The HCCM, in his additional defense of Enbridge, takes umbrage with its “numbers.” He claims that Enbridge “spends over $40 million in Minnesota on property taxes.” As it happens, from 2012 to 2016, property taxes paid by Enbridge amounted to $30.3 million. Enbridge appealed that amount to the courts and Enbridge won its case. The state’s portion of that amount was $10.5 million, and the rest was assigned to counties and other public entities. Since Enbridge won the case, there will have to be a significant reimbursement to Enbridge. 

Perhaps the HCCM will report in the near future, which amounts will have to be reimbursed by the State of Minnesota and the counties to Enbridge. Perhaps the HCCM will then be able to sing a new song of praise for Oil Monster Enbridge, that Canadian Corporation, which has benefited northern Minnesota so much with jobs, taxes and some great petroleum. 

 

Enrique Gentzsch

Minneapolis

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