Large Crowd Gathers In Bemidji To Comment On Proposed Oil Pipeline
Tensions were high at the last public meeting to review an environmental report of a proposed Enbridge Energy oil pipeline. The afternoon kicked off with a pro-pipeline gathering, where the group “Jobs for Minnesotans” and other community members expressed their support. They argue that while they also support renewable energy, there will still be a demand for oil. And Enbridge would like to have some of these workers to help replace the more than 50 year old line. According to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Enbridge’s preferred route would need a maximum of 4,200 workers within an eight-month period. But, this would not affect county-level unemployment or median household income levels.
Some activists are concerned that the impact of jobs would not out weigh the potential catastrophic affects of an oil spill – and they’re ready to fight back if something does happen. The Department of Commerce is trying to weigh the many benefits and risks of the pipeline through the EIS. The comments presented today will help them clarify or edit any of its sections. All comments sent in by July 10th with be considered for the final draft. Once the final draft is completed, the public will once again have the opportunity to comment on it.