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Letters to the Editor kr

Draw the line

Permits have started to be issued for the Line 3 Replacement Project, and construction is on the horizon. It’s no surprise that opponents of the project are becoming more agitated.

This led to a small protest in Backus at a pipe yard, in which activists bragged on social media that they were able to stop work from happening.

This is unacceptable.

The process for approving this project has been going on for over five years. Every argument from each side has been reviewed. After dozens of public comment meetings and comment opportunities, everyone’s voices have been heard.

These activists participated in that process. But because they don’t like the results of that process, they now think it’s OK to step outside of it and break the law.

The Public Utilities Commission and state agencies have reviewed all of the information about the project. There is no way they would approve something if they believed it would hurt the state.

They are doing their jobs. The people who are doing the construction will just be doing their jobs as well.

Can’t we just respect the process and the decisions that are being made and let people do their jobs without threats and intimidation?

If you want to voice your disagreement with a decision, I support that right.  What I don’t support is harassment, breaking the law, and interfering with construction projects just because you didn’t get your way.

Kory and Jennifer Anderson, Bagley


We need a new Line 3

There are many who oppose the Line 3 Replacement Project whose sole argument is that we do not need this project and that we do not need fossil fuels anymore.  

This can be quickly debunked as Flint Hills, which operates our state’s biggest refinery has supported the long-range demand forecasts for the oil transported by this pipeline.

It is a simple fact that we need oil and will for the foreseeable future – as wind and solar technology is currently nowhere near sufficient, not to mention the thousands of products we use every day that are petroleum-based.  

I have only made several small arguments, and I could continue but that isn’t the point. The point is that opponents of this project are either uneducated, wildly idealistic, or have some kind of economic incentive to preventing any fossil fuel project.

When it comes down to it, building a new Line 3 is what is best for Minnesota. The State of Minnesota – while having taken way too long – is starting to see this. We need to start construction on this project and put Minnesota back to work. We need the jobs, we need the infrastructure, and we need the oil.

Doug Rockst, Bemidji


Thankful

Thanksgiving Day is almost here. If we think about it, there’s something every day to be thankful for.

We don’t shop often now, but when we do we’re thankful for the kind, helpful clerks we have in Aitkin.

My hands don’t work well so I really appreciate their help. God bless you all. Happy Thanksgiving.

Gus and Ardie Carlstrom, Aitkin


Delay Line 3: Pause for pandemic

If our governor and his administration truly care about human life, they will delay the unnecessary Line 3 project, which will result in an enormous escalation of infection and death. It may have seemed excessive earlier this year, when metro area Minnesotans were asked to stay away from their cabins to protect northern Minnesotans. But many adhered to the mandate to STAY HOME. And lives were saved.

While many non-essential workers are now home, suffering from lost income, working to try to teach their children  and hoping they can continue to feed them, the state may decide to permit a pipeline of death through the North country, not only putting water quality in danger unnecessarily, but also wiping citizens off the map as it proceeds.

COVID-19 has the power to grow exponentially, as we’ve seen throughout 2020 in various locations around the world. Remember France, Italy, New York City and their refrigerator trucks for the dead that became unmanageable? And this is how the virus has been hitting rural communities. One day things are fine and the next, there aren’t enough beds, ambulances to move people, or health care professionals to care for all the sick. Case, case, case, cluster, cluster, boom. That’s how this disease spreads.

With so many not taking it seriously, not wearing masks to protect themselves and their fellow citizens, the entire country has become a breeding ground for COVID-19.

And our hospitals are running out of beds.

Bagley Hospital has a mere 25 beds, there is already Enbridge pre-construction activity all over the area. ICU beds are scarce in Aitkin too, with only four in Aitkin County, where some of the 800 Line 3 workers Enbridge expects are already assembling at the Mississippi River crossing, where they hope to begin work before month’s  end.

The MPCA just approved the 401 Water Quality Certification for Line 3 today. Can we expect their Facebook page to shout: MPCA approves Enbridge Line 3 permits - now with more COVID-19.

Gov. Walz reported Tuesday that 71% of the spread is through social settings like restaurants and bars. Enbridge has been clear in informing local officials that they can only enforce social distancing rules on their own worksites, not in the community, where COVID-19 is likely to be spread to local populations and worker families. Dr. Marc Gorelick, Pres/CEO of Children’s Minnesota, reiterated Walz’ concern noting their system had over 200 hospital workers out, a vast majority due to community spread.

We’ve already lost 2,793 Minnesotans, 238 in just the last week, 87 since Walz announced the dial back, starting Friday, Nov. 13.

How many will we sacrifice for an unnecessary pipeline project? (www.peakprosperity.com/video/crash-course-chapter-4-compounding-is-the-problem-2/).

Jami Gaither, Alida

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