Judge recommends approving Certificate of Need for Sandpiper Pipeline
A victory for Enbridge’s Sandpiper Pipeline project.
An Administrative Law Judge is recommending the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approve a Certificate of Need for the proposed pipeline that would cut across parts of Northern Minnesota.
Judge Lipman recommended that the Public Utilities Commission approve Enbridge’s Certificate of Need for its proposed route.
The recommendations are intended to assist the Public Utilities Commission on whether there is a public “need” for the Sandpiper pipeline proposed by the North Dakota Pipeline Company.
If approved, the pipeline would carry 375,000 barrels per day of oil from the Bakken region of North Dakota, across northern Minnesota to Superior, Wisconsin.
But those who are against the pipeline because of environmental concerns are not giving up hope.
Richard Smith is the president of Friends of the Headwaters which opposes the pipeline.
Smith said in a statement today that his group is disappointed with Judge Lipman’s decision but that they remain confident that the Public Utilities Commission will see that Enbridge’s proposed route is not in the state’s interest.
Smith says it puts far too many of our natural resources at risk, when better, alternative routes are available.
Enbridge also released a statement praising the decision and saying the recommendation is significant and will enable the Minnesota regulatory process to move forward in a timely manner.
Enbridge says the Sandpiper has broad and deep support throughout Minnesota, with 60 Minnesota legislators and the majority of county commissions along the route expressing their support.
Judge Lipman’s report will now be sent to the Public Utilities Commission, which will make a final determination of need, expected in June 2015.