Northern Minnesota counties worry about cost of possible pipeline protests

Northern Minnesota counties worry about cost of possible pipeline protests Click to Enlarge

MINNEAPOLIS - County officials in northern Minnesota are worried about large-scale protests if Enbridge Energy gets approval to replace its Line 3 crude oil pipeline and have asked regulators to find a way to force the company to cover the costs.

Susan Morris, president of the Association of Minnesota Counties, made the request in a letter to the Public Utilities Commission. The commission is expected to decide next month whether to approve the project and what route it should take.

Construction of the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota drew thousands of protesters in 2016 and 2017, resulting in sometimes violent skirmishes with law enforcement and 761 arrests. Some activists have threatened a repeat if Line 3 moves forward.

Morris says counties can't anticipate or budget for law enforcement and other costs.

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