I read with interest the opinion piece in the Herald Review (July 31, 2019), entitled “Enbridge celebrates 70 years in Grand Rapids.” I was born and raised in Grand Rapids and have lived here most of my life, so I have seen the company grow and prosper over the years. They have provided good jobs for many people from our area and have brought in temporary workers who also contributed to our economy. As stated, they have donated money to local organizations and their employees volunteer in the community. For all that, I thank them.

Unfortunately, times have changed, and we must change with them. We are facing a threat to human existence from climate disaster, which is becoming more and more serious at an alarming rate. A recent UN report states that we will face devastating consequences of climate change unless there is an unprecedented effort to significantly reduce greenhouse gases by 2030, and we need to start now to make these changes. We know that burning fossil fuels (oil, coal, natural gas) produces carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, which makes the Earth warmer. There is no longer any doubt that the major factor contributing to climate change is greenhouse gases primarily due to our use of fossil fuel. Even if Enbridge could prevent all oil spills or leaks (which they can’t) and even if they are the most benevolent employer on Earth, the end result of the Line 3 replacement and other oil pipelines is more fossil fuel being processed and burned, resulting in more greenhouse gases and more climate disasters, death and destruction. The time for fossil fuels is over; it’s time for a clean energy revolution!

I would also urge Enbridge to stop using the old Line 3 which runs through our state (and our community) and remove it from the ground as soon as possible. It is aging and deteriorating and much more prone to leaks and spills, which will affect our water quality and harm fish, birds and animals in Northern Minnesota. Removing it, using local labor, will not only alleviate this risk but provide some good jobs for skilled workers from our area.

We are truly facing a life and death situation; if we don’t make major changes, our children and grandchildren will inherit an unlivable planet. If Enbridge would lead the way to a healthier planet by investing in solar, wind and other clean energy sources, they would truly deserve our appreciation and respect for having an impact on the future of humanity.

Please join Earth Circle in upcoming events; our Rally for the Earth on Thursdays from 4-5 on the Pokegama Avenue Bridge, regular Earth Circle meetings at the library on the third Saturday of every month, and special speakers and events throughout the year. Our time is running out to turn things around. Let’s take action now!

Vicki Andrews

Grand Rapids

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