The PUC on Tuesday, Jan. 9, bumped again the date it needs to obtain a report from March 30 till April 23. Whereas some pipeline supporters stated that may imply pipeline development couldn’t begin subsequent yr, Shannon Gustafson of pipeline proprietor Enbridge stated even with the delay the pipeline could possibly be achieved by its deadline.
Nevertheless, Enbridge nonetheless should win PUC approval earlier than it might proceed with development and that isn’t sure.
Gustafson stated Enbridge thinks the PUC can approve the pipeline by the top of June, however that doesn’t take into consideration potential lawsuits that could possibly be introduced by environmental teams and American Indian tribes that oppose the corporate’s plans to rebuild and partially reroute Line three that stretches from North Dakota into Wisconsin.
All 5 PUC commissioners voted in favor of the delay on Tuesday.
The vote means the fee doesn’t anticipate a report from an administrative regulation decide till April 23. The decide traveled the state final yr accumulating testimony concerning the Line three proposal. She and state Commerce Division officers stated they might not meet earlier deadlines, which had the PUC making a ultimate determination in April.
Enbridge lawyer Eric Swanson instructed the April 23 deadline to “get the method again on monitor.” He additionally prompt a number of different deadlines for the PUC, which commissioners didn’t approve.
Undertaking opponents stated the April deadline wouldn’t give them sufficient time to react.
In addition to, Joe Plummer stated, there isn’t any urgency to approve the Line three undertaking.
“They’ve 2.6 billion barrels a day capability proper now,” stated Plummer, an lawyer for the White Earth and Pink Lake bands, including that Enbridge already has six pipelines within the space.
Tuesday’s listening to was attended by greater than 200 individuals: a mixture of American Indians and environmentalists who oppose the pipeline, and union staff and others who help it.
Commissioners stated they haven’t determined whether or not to approve Line three, and referred to as Tuesday’s debate merely one about course of.
Commissioner John Tuma stated he was not snug telling the decide she needed to have her report in by April 23 as a result of he didn’t need to micromanage her schedule. Commissioners additionally stated the decide shouldn’t be sure by a PUC-instituted deadline.