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Letter to the Editor: Clarification on Enbridge lobbying expenses

A recent letter on Enbridge lobbying expenses requires clarification for the benefit of your readers. In Enbridge's filing with the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board earlier this month, we did indeed report lobbying expenses ...

A recent letter on Enbridge lobbying expenses requires clarification for the benefit of your readers.

In Enbridge's filing with the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board earlier this month, we did indeed report lobbying expenses in 2017 of about $5 million. Under the laws of the state of Minnesota, legal representation and other support related to matters before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission are considered lobbying activities. Enbridge is in the midst of an extensive state-led regulatory process that in 2017 provided Minnesotans an opportunity to attend approximately 40 public meetings and three weeks of legal hearings.

Enbridge is required by the state to pay for all costs associated with holding these meetings as well as our own attorneys and expert witnesses. These costs add up quickly.

Additionally, this same letter questions the need for replacing the Line 3 pipeline. The Enbridge system is the exclusive pipeline source of crude oil for Minnesota refineries. The existing Line 3 has been in operation since the early 1960s and has experienced corrosion and defects inherent and common in the pipe coatings used at that time. While the existing pipeline continues to operate safely at reduced pressures and capacity, the replacement pipeline will utilize the most advanced technology, including advances in welding, pipe-manufacturing to significantly reduce the risk of spills. Approximately 80 percent of the proposed route follows existing energy infrastructure.

It's important that Minnesotans know about the measures we are taking to protect our communities and the environment by replacing Line 3. And while the Line 3 replacement project is safety driven with the protection of the environment and communities at the center of its design, it too will benefit Minnesotans through the injection of $2.6 billion into the economy and the creation of 8,600 jobs during construction.

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Jennifer Smith,

Enbridge

Manager, Community Engagement

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