Pipeline giant Enbridge spends $11M USD lobbying Minnesota leaders

A new report shows Enbridge spent $11 million USD last year lobbying leaders in Minnesota, where the company is fighting to replace its aging Line 3 pipeline despite opposition from tribes and environmentalists.

That’s roughly $14.8 million CDN.

The Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board released data this week that show nearly all of Enbridge Energy Partners’ lobbying money was used advocating before the Public Utilities Commission.

Enbridge Energy Partners has been acquired by Enbridge Energy Ltd.

The company gained the commission’s approval to replace the pipeline, which angered Native American tribes and climate change activists who say the project threatens fragile areas.

The pipeline currently runs from Alberta, Canada, across North Dakota and Minnesota to Enbridge’s terminal in Superior, Wisconsin.

The company had faced a renewed challenge launched by the newly elected governor of Minnesota. Gov. Tim Walz said his department would petition the utilities commission to reconsider the line’s approval.

The $9-billion project would restore an aging pipeline and restore its original capacity of 760,000 barrels per day.

It’s now expected to be ready in the second half of 2020, a year later than the anticipated 2019 opening. The company is still waiting for permits from the Minnesota and U.S. governments.

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