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Enbridge Oil has a planned expansion coming our way

Anybody else paying attention to this? I have not heard much about it in the news, but it sounds like this is a huge expansion coming straight through the Twin Ports, looks like it is going to cut up a big section of Northern MN and certainly the St.Louis River Valley.


Super corridor plan draws interest (Published on August 3, 2006, Duluth News-Tribune)

Amassive and controversial transportation project proposed for Texas has stirred interest clear to Duluth.

As proposed, the Trans-Texas Corridor would run parallel to U.S. Highway 35 and include separate lanes for trucks and passenger vehicles, a freight railway, plus a high-speed commuter line and room for utility infrastructure, such as pipelines, power lines and water pipes.

If executed, the Lone Star State's plan is expected to cost $145 billion to $183 billion.

The pipleline is already being built near Superior - I saw it under construction going through state and private land near Solon Springs. They're cutting a 75-yard wide swath...

Hey Vicarious,
Any idea where the northern part is coming through? It must be coming down through McGregor, then east near Wrenshall/Carlton then to Superior. Maybe through Fond Du State Forest or through the Nemadji State Forest? Seems pretty crazy that nobody has said a peep about this. The NO LINE campaign was intense but not a word on a huge oil line!

I think we should take this expansion with a grain of salt. While it isn't great, no one (well, me, at least) is supporting massive increases in petroleum-related infrastructure, we can be glad that they're likely going to follow existing pipeline routes and not cut additional paths. We should also be glad, and this is conjecture, but it is probably going underground. Underground it will be a much lesser impact on native habitats, etc.

On another note, I think the stupid Trans-Texas idea has been slightly modified, so it will come up from Texas and then it will split in Kansas City into two theoretical routes, with one terminating in Chicago and the other heading to Toronto. This is, of course, if any government other than the fricks of Texas buy into it.

Clarification: it won't be cutting new paths through Minnesota. Sorry, Wisconsin, I've once again forgotten you.

I respectfully must disagree with you Sean regarding the impact on the local environment. When I was book learnin in Bemidji I had the good fortune to intern with USGS on their oil remediation project. http://mn.water.usgs.gov/bemidji/backgr.html#intro

Back then it was Lakehead Pipeline and since I think it has changed name(for PR purposes?). I also know of 2 ruptures of the pipeline in MN since I was involved. One was very near the Mississippi river.

It makes me sick when our president talks about drilling in the Arctic and states that the technology is so great that their is virtually no risk to the enviro. We cant even transport the shit safely.

So, are we all going to stop using petroleum products?
I seems like transporting it from Canada ( a short distance) would have fewer enviromental consequences than transporting it from the middle east(a very long distance).

Don't get me wrong, I hate the oil companies, but I'd rather give my money to Canadians than to King Abdullah Bin-Abd-al-Aziz Al Saud and his thirty wives.

The section I saw near Solon Springs is above ground.

The proposed northern section wouldn't start 2008/2009 at the earliest. The current section being worked on is a 20" and 42" line from Superior to Chicago. It is following existing lines. The environmental restrictions are beyond belief at times. Most areas look better after the pipeline goes through due to the clean up procedures they do. With any construction there can always be accidents. Thats why they call them accidents. More lines equals more flow, which is a good thing.

Yes I work for one of the companies involved and live in Duluth, but seeing it from both sides I think it's a good thing.

The other positive for the communities the companies move into while they work is the amount of money the pour into the city/community.

uh, John? you're most distinctly NOT seeing it from "both sides"--you're seeing it from the side of someone who will financially benefit from its being built. so...

no area "looks better" with an oil pipeline through it, and i don't for one minute think that the environmental restrictions are "beyond belief." and no, "more lines... more flow... good thing." duh... NO! more lines = more destruction of habitat. that is not good. more flow = more insistence that we need not slow our use of oil products since hell, *that's our way of life* and reality be damned. i don't think a community taking the bribes of "more money"--which only lasts a little while--will make up for a permanently fucked up watershed when one starts to spout and no one notices for a few days.

nope, common sense says Not a Good Thing. but see, i'm not getting paid to say otherwise.

and donb, why does everyone always have to go to the hysterical "what can we do? stop using oil/toilet paper/elecricity?!!" as if those damn hippies are just craaaaazy for tapping people on the shoulder and saying "excuse me, but doesn't that seem like a bad idea?"

how about Slowing Down? if people weren't being such eco-assholes and insisting on driving two blocks to the grocery store instead of, oh i don't know, w a l k i n g...or if people didn't run air-conditioners just because it got over 75 or ... well, you get the picture.

the point is that we wouldn't "need" this pipeline--they wouldn't be building it--if people weren't so bent on ignoring the future and refusing, come hell or high water, to change a damned thing about their own fucking behavior.

Anybody know where I can get some sheep so I have a good supply of wool so I don't need to use my fuel oil heater to heat my house this winter?? I would hate to make someone else rich off of my personal comfort values.

hbh, Yes I can say I see it from both sides. I didn't always work for my company. I lived in an area where a pipeline went through.

I do agree, we should slow down our use. But like you said it wouldn't be built if the need wasn't there. I'd much rather switch over to a better source of energy. Or at least move away from our dependence. France is 76% Nuclear and it's clean energy. When was the last time you heard about a environmental problem in France with their plants? Or let alone ours?

I disagree with your point on "bribes". I don't know where you get that idea. I was referring to the 300+ jobs it brings to an area, lodging, food, entertainment, materials, and everything else that is needed to complete the project.

And as far as looking better after a pipeline goes through, I can say first hand the environment looks a lot better, and the streams/rivers/creeks/etc are cleaner. When there is any type of water crossing, no matter how small, water is filtered from one side to the other, to make sure it is clean. Even rain water in a natural ditch is filtered out before it is pumped anywhere. I've seen a creek that just looked horrible before we went through turned into something from a post card. We're not allowed to just dig, lay the pipe and bury it.

I do agree accidents happen. But should things not be built because something Might happen? nothing would be done if we lived like that.

You might still think I'm saying this because I work for "them" but, I have my own opinions out side of the company.

I guess I'm an eco-asshole, but it would really suck carrying more than a single bag of groceries two blocks. Take that self-righteous crap somewhere else.

Here's an article on the pipeline from last October:

Yes, donb, we are all going to stop using petroleum products; it's just not going to be until we've used them all up in the next few decades. Then melonhead is going to have to figure out how to get food when there isn't a grocery store dependent on oil a couple blocks away.

nice...i've walked everywhere I go for the six years that i've been here. before that, I biked in the cities...everywhere i went. even to the grocery store. It CAN be done. If you live anywhere in the hillside, an automobile isn't a requisite.

i live eight blocks from work, the same distance to the grocery store and within a reasonable stumbling distance of my favorite places of alcoholic embibement.

put that in your neocon koolade and suck it back, melonhead...

My point is that even if we drastically reduce our petroleum consumption (something I have done in my life) we will still be using it on some level for quite awhile. It would be less harmful to ship it from Saskatchewan than from, say,

The pipeline will destroy
wilderness areas. Diesel
burning tankerships traveling halfway around the world will destroy our wilderness areas as well, because burning diesel causes global warming.

Alas, being human in the modern world causes global warming.

I think we should ban the sun. It is the real cause of global warming.

Alright. It won't be long 'til we're all killing our own food and cooking it in the sunlight, but until then I'll be driving when neccessary-the only place to get neocon koolaid is too far to walk. I'd prefer to be known, however, as just a regular-type asshole. There's no need to qualify that shit.

Seriously, I admire people who are able to avoid petroleum, or at least minimize their use, but the fact is that walking everywhere isn't practical for everyone. I'm not sure that makes us assholes.

Potential solution: horses. With the right saddlebags I could bring home groceries from Cub before the milk goes bad. Plus I could wear spurs on my Addidas. I can see it now...

Whew, hadnt checked my email in awhile and man is it full of comments on this post.
So even after all the comments I still have not learned1) where the pipeline is actually coming through around Carlton, Wrenshall.
2) If it is following existing lines. or
3) If it is above or below ground.
Where would I find out this information?

It's following existing lines, and is all below ground. The line from Superior to Chicago is all below ground following existing lines also.

Not exactly sure where it's going through Carlton.

what i'm saying is that when one is financially tied to something, it is in your best interest (psychologically even) to see as much good in it as possible and minimize the bad. it's human nature. just like when one becomes a soldier in the US, you have to convince yourself of the fact that you're fighting for Iraqi "freedom" even if all the reality in the world comes and hits you upside the head.

what i so flippantly refer to as bribes is about the constant "we need the jobs/tourism/money" excuse for economic dev't that in fact over the long run hurts us as a community. once you'll do anything for "jobs" you get big-ass Walmarts and all your mom-pop stores are gone. once you'll do anything for "jobs", you'll sacrifice the health of your water supply for a few more years of driving your big-ass car so you don't have to, oh i dunno, PLAN how to get groceries without it.

filtering water sounds very nice, until you realize that a trout can't swim through it, and neither can much of the other wildlife that generally live in streams. looking picture perfect is not necessarily healthy.

melonhead, i have no problem at all calling people eco-assholes if they can't even *imagine* how to shop in small bits, use a personal grocery cart, or use various other forms of non-gasoline powered transportation with baskets or whatever without getting defensive about it and making stupid excuses.

go ahead like most of the world and do what you want, but i'm getting pretty tired of patting people on the head and saying, "awww, that's okay if you wanna shit on those of us who try. after all, it's just silly of us to give a crap."

you are not being condemned for simply using petroleum, and neither is anyone else. you are getting backhanded for making out that inconvenience is an excuse for driving unnecessarily, and that making any kind of effort is just beyond you.

you are crossing my sights when i'm fed up to the eyeballs with the inanity of our cultural behavior. just call me EcoBitch.

How 'bout ecomartyr? It alludes to an admirable conviction.

I do agree that I try to see the good in what is happening, but I try also to see the other side. I ask the same of you. Only pointing out the possible negatives will get you no where.

I don't see how a pipeline compares to a Walmart. there are no local mom and pop pipeline companies. the pipeline comes in and hires a bunch of locals, and uses as much local business as possible. Yes somethings have be ordered from out of town or from big "box" stores if the local economy can't support it. But I know that most of the bussiness is local bussiness. I do agree on the general walmart theory. I'm not a huge fan of them, and I see how they can hurt a community.

"filtering water sounds very nice, until you realize that a trout can't swim through it, and neither can much of the other wildlife that generally live in streams."

They don't block the water bodies permentaly. There are time restrictions on when you start you have X amount of time to finish. And there are enviromental and wildlife people there while it is being done, to make sure everything is being done correctly. And I don't mean "company people" I mean people their job is to follow the environmental rules to the letter, and make sure there is as little impact as possible. Now if they were employees of the pipeline company or anyone involved, I'd agree and say they were "on our side" but they do their job and make sure we do ours.

Great discussion so far!

"the pipeline comes in and hires a bunch of locals, and uses as much local business as possible."

oh, but they DON'T always use local labor...in fact construction contractors are more likely to bring in workers from far outside the area. ATC's contractors are doing this over in Wisconsin right now building their transmission line. The majority of their workers are from down south or out west...and the companies who win the contracts to build these pipelines...they're either no bid awardees or at the very least lowest bidder. Hiring a local company to do the work (especially in these parts...) would be way too expensive.

Another example: Look at what's going on in Mississippi right now...

Out of state contractors are coming in and setting up shop for the reconstruction of towns and cities like Biloxi and Gulfport...they then hire 2 dollar an hour immigrant workers they pick up at Home Depot...on their end, the contractors by cutting their overhead for truly skilled and quality labor are making a killing while...

...hundreds of local contractors who're more than happy to rebuild your house, are being priced right out of the market, and going bankrupt in droves.

In essence, it's a lot cheaper to recruit labor from outside this area and pay to have them bussed in, put them up in temporary lodging (which are basically trailer house dorms), and feed them than it is to hire local.

glad to hear they're trying John. forgive me for being mightily suspicious. there's a whole history of reasons to be very much so.

i'm going to ignore the probable sarcasm, melonhead, and just say that there's nothing "admirable" in riding a bicycle, or walking whenever you can, or moving closer to your job, or growing some of your own food, or turning down your thermostat, or making an effort to buy local, or selling your car, or downsizing your life.

it's practical. eminently practical, because anyone who reads the news beyond watching CNN or Fox can see what's coming down the pike and ought to be doing the very minimum to prepare for it. and i'm Fed Up with nodding my head and pretending to commiserate with people who insist it's just soooo haaaard to do anything at all. it's not hard. what's hard is pretending it's not happening, that it's not necessary, that all that global warming shit is just a bunch of political hot air and if it does happen it'll be long after i have to do a damn thing.

what's hard is shutting up, and i'm done with it. we are living in the biggest mindfuck i could have imagined to exist, this bizarro land where we're bringing "freedom" to Iraq by turning innocent people's lives into shit, and being green is doing yoga and filling your brand-new "sportsize" SUV with "organic" produce from China. it's time to call this shit out.

and i say that knowing that the world we live in isn't interested or moved by truth anymore. so it's all pissing into a stiff Lake Superior wind. and getting piss on your pants ain't admirable either.

"oh, but they DON'T always use local labor...."

Well when it comes to pipelines, from my experience, they are union jobs (don't want to get into union vs nonunion) so around half come out of the local union halls. Overhead/Office and supervisors/formen typically travel with the company. Those kinds of positions you want to keep semi-constant so they know what they are doing. And then when the halls(Welders/Operators/Teamsters/Laborers) don't have anyone else locally it is then opened up to nonlocal halls that wants to come. But they do start with the local union halls and work their way out.

I don't know what other types of businesses do in other locations, but since we're talking about what is going on here, I can just speak for whats going on in this area. And I know this is true of just about any pipeline being put in.

There are no "small mom and pop" pipeline companies. It's just not possible. The amount of people and equipment needed automaticaly makes it a big company. So a "local" company couldn't have been hired. But as I said before, as many local companies have been involved in the project as possible. If there is a need that can't be done locally, that need is still there. So they'll go out of the local area or to a big company to get what is needed.

I'm so not saying I'm in favor of this dealio going through (we don't have very much of a choice in the matter now, do we?)...BUT, John, I'm hoping what you're speculating is true and that these contractors DO hire local...

I'm not holding my breath for it, as we all know the general histories behind similar projects...

Well I'm not speculating. The project in superior at it's peak had more than 500 people I believe, and at least 300 of them were "local". By "local" I mean they came out of the local union halls (I think 2 or 3 of the 4 are located in Duluth and the other is somewhere in NW WI). Now not all of them came from Superior/Duluth, but they came from as local as they could.

As much business as possible was done with the local businesses here. Those aren't speculations. And if the project goes through and starts here and goes north, it will be very similar to the project that started in Superior and went south.

They are still over there in Superior working, but have less than 100 working.

Well I'm not speculating. The project in superior at it's peak had more than 500 people I believe, and at least 300 of them were "local". By "local" I mean they came out of the local union halls (I think 2 or 3 of the 4 are located in Duluth and the other is somewhere in NW WI). Now not all of them came from Superior/Duluth, but they came from as local as they could.

As much business as possible was done with the local businesses here. Those aren't speculations. And if the project goes through and starts here and goes north, it will be very similar to the project that started in Superior and went south.

They are still over there in Superior working, but have less than 100 working.

Sorry for the double post.

And I meant to add, they have less than 100 due to most of the work being done in this area.

how does someone get hooked up with the pipeline if your not in the union . i have been self employed for years so i'm not in a union i sure would like to be i don't know how to go about this the pipeline runs through my property 4 limes any help wpould be appreciated

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