Minnesota Senate Passes Bill to Jumpstart Enbridge Line 3 Construction

The Minnesota Senate has voted to pass a bill that would jumpstart construction of Enbridge's proposed Line 3 replacement project across the northern part of the state.

The House passed the legislation on Monday that says Enbridge can start work on replacing the aging Line 3 crude oil pipeline, but the Senate on Wednesday made a slight amendment to it that the House must agree with before sending it to Governor Mark Dayton who has promised to veto the bill.

The bill would bypass the state's Public Utilities Commission, which is scheduled to make a decision on the pipeline proposal in June.

Enbridge says the old 1,000-mile Line 3 oil pipeline is corroding and is very costly to maintain, requiring the need for a replacement pipeline in order to boost safety and pipeline capacity.

Many against the project have threatened a repeat of the protests that occurred in North Dakota near the Standing Rock reservation that delayed construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline for several months.

Opponents of the proposed replacement project fear the impact on climate change and waterways.

Source:
PennEnergy

Minnesota Governor Vows to Veto Bill Aimed to Kick-Start Enbridge Pipeline Construction

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton said last week that he would veto a bill aimed to kick start construction of Enbridge’s Line 3 crude oil pipeline through the northern part of the state.

The proposed 1,031-mile replacement project has gone through a years-long approval process and is close to the end as the state’s Public Utilities Commission approved the final environmental review of the replacement project last month.

The commission is scheduled to vote on the pipeline route and construction in June, but House Republicans argue construction has taken long enough and should begin immediately.

A House committee passed a bill last week that would authorize immediate construction for the project, but Governor Dayton said he would veto the bill if it came up for a final vote because the bill is politically motivated and would trample the state’s regulatory process.

Enbridge's new Line 3 oil pipeline would take the place of the old Line 3 that dates back to 1960 and can no longer run at full capacity due to safety issues and lack of latest technologies. The new Line 3 would follow the existing Line 3 route from North Dakota to Minnesota and then create a new path to Wisconsin.

Source:
PennEnergy

Washington Gov. Signs Measure to Boost Oil Transportation Safety in State

Washington Governor Jay Inslee on Friday signed a law improving oil transportation safety to protect state waterways from contamination.

The legislation includes the intent to raise funds that would be used in the prevention of oil spills as well as in the development of tighter preparedness plans that would be followed if oil were to contaminate waterways.

The measure also extends the state's oil barrel tax to pipelines, which currently pays for spill response prevention measures for oil received by train or vessels.

The Department of Ecology must increase coordination with Canadian partners to increase safety, data sharing, and to talk about issues related to reducing oil spill risk and navigational safety.

The DOE must also practice equipment deployment drills every three years for onshore and offshore sites, according to the measure.

Source:
The Spokesman-Review

Nebraska Bill Designed to Tighten Requirements for Pipeline Construction Gets Pulled

Nebraskan politician Bob Krist has withdrawn a bill that would have tightened requirements for pipeline construction in the state, including the Keystone XL pipeline, after it was voted 40-7 by lawmakers to be pulled.

The bill was inspired by the Keystone XL pipeline, which most lawmakers support despite the arduous opposition it faces from environmental groups, Native American tribes, and some landowners.

Krist had introduced the bill last week, which was designed to require due process for the taking of private property for private oil pipeline construction instead of the use of eminent domain.

The bill also required periodic payments to landowners for the use of their land and a comprehensive decommissioning plan that involves restoring the property back to its original state once the pipeline reached the end of its life.

Source:
PennEnergy

Nebraska Bill Aims to Tighten Requirements for Pipeline Construction

Nebraskan politician Bob Krist introduced a bill Tuesday that would tighten requirements for pipeline construction in the state, including TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

The legislation would require due process for the taking of private property for private oil pipeline construction instead of the use of eminent domain.

The bill also requires periodic payments to landowners for the use of their land and a comprehensive decommissioning plan that involves restoring the property back to its original state once the pipeline reaches the end of its life.

Under the legislation, any applicant would be required to post a construction and performance bond of at least $100 million.

TransCanada is still deciding if it wants to proceed with construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline through Nebraska after the state Public Service Commission last November approved an alternative route over TransCanada's preferred path through the state.

Source:
Lincoln Journal Star

U.S. House of Representatives Passes Bills that Streamline Pipeline Permitting

The U.S. House of Representatives passed two bills that streamline oil and gas pipeline permitting.

One of the pipeline bills, called HR 2883, gives the authority of pipeline border crossings from the president to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and sets time limits for approvals.

FERC would have to make decisions on border-crossing applications within 120 days after completing environmental reviews and on exports or imports of natural gas to or from Mexico or Canada within 30 days.

The second pipeline bill, called HR 2910, strengthens FERC's lead-agency role and seeks ways to meet its 90-day time limit for action on applications. It also has measures that would improve coordination among agencies involved in pipeline decisions as well as requires concurrent reviews.

The bills now await action in the Senate.

Source:
Oil & Gas Journal