by Steve Karnowski, The Associated Press Posted Mar 5, 2017 11:52 am MDT Last Updated Mar 5, 2017 at 12:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email MINNEAPOLIS – U.S. State Department officials will come to Minnesota on Tuesday to hold the only public meeting on a draft environmental review for the final segment of Enbridge Energy’s project to boost capacity in its Alberta Clipper pipeline, which carries Canadian tar sands oil across northern Minnesota to Superior, Wisconsin.The State Department’s four-year review concluded that there would be no significant environmental impacts from completing the project, which requires a presidential permit because the last remaining segment crosses the U.S.-Canadian border in North Dakota. But environmentalists and some Native American tribes dispute that and are gearing up for the meeting in the northern Minnesota city of Bemidji.Here’s a look at some issues involved:___THE PIPELINEEnbridge built the Alberta Clipper, also known as Line 67, in 2009 for $1 billion. Its capacity was 450,000 barrels per day. Enbridge later decided to nearly double that to 800,000 barrels; the Calgary, Alberta-based company did most of that by adding pumping stations along the route.Enbridge needs a presidential permit for the 3-mile segment where the 1,000-mile pipeline crosses the border. Getting the permit is a lengthy process. The Keystone XL pipeline that would run from Canada’s tar sands to Nebraska, for example, was derailed when President Barack Obama rejected its permit. President Donald Trump has invited Keystone XL developer TransCanada to reapply.Enbridge is operating the Alberta Clipper at full capacity with a temporary workaround. It built a detour to and from a parallel pipeline that crosses the border nearby and already has a permit. Opponents challenged the legality of that setup in court but lost.___WHY ENBRIDGE WANTS ITEnbridge spokeswoman Shannon Gustafson called the Alberta Clipper “a vital piece of energy infrastructure” that bolsters America’s energy security because it lessens the need for imports from unstable nations. Midwest refineries depend on the oil that Enbridge pipelines deliver, she said.“Pipelines continue to be the safest, most reliable means of transporting crude oil that Minnesotans and Midwesterners rely on in their daily lives,” Gustafson said.Other Enbridge projects in the works are a proposed replacement for its 1960s-era Line 3 that would follow part of the same corridor. In fact, the Alberta Clipper detour uses an upgraded section of Line 3 to cross the border. Line 3 is also drawing opposition from tribes and environmentalists.___THE OPPOSITIONA coalition of environmental and tribal groups opposes the Alberta Clipper because it carries tar sands oil, which they consider a bigger environmental threat than regular crude. The pipeline crosses the lake country of northern Minnesota, including the Leech Lake and Fond du Lac Ojibwe reservations. Opponents say it threatens ecologically sensitive areas, as well as resources such as wild rice that are important to the Ojibwe bands.Some of the leading opponents, including Winona LaDuke, executive director of Honor the Earth, were also active in the fight against the Dakota Access oil pipeline. LaDuke said protests that drew thousands to the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota have spawned new “water protectors” to oppose Enbridge.LaDuke is organizing a “Sustainability Summit” for Tuesday ahead of the State Department meeting. Her event will highlight clean energy alternatives. Participants will then march to the meeting and hold a rally that will include traditional Ojibwe drumming and dancing.___THE MEEETINGThe State Department is holding Tuesday’s meeting as part of the public comment period on the draft environmental review, which runs through March 27. The agency will consider those comments as it prepares the final version. The president must then determine whether issuing the permit is in the national interest.___Follow Steve Karnowski on Twitter at https://twitter.com/skarnowski . His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/steve-karnowski US officials to hold meeting on Alberta Clipper pipeline
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedJagdeo says reduction of parking meter fees not adequateFebruary 13, 2017In “latest news”Parking meter rates slashed by 50% following mounting public pressureFebruary 13, 2017In “latest news”Amended by-laws for controversial parking meters approvedApril 4, 2018In “latest news” ….touts $12,000 monthly package for taxis and minibuses only From left SCS PR Kit Nascimento, Town Clerk Royston King, Mayor Patricia Chase-Green and SCS Director Amir Oren at today’s presser Contrary to what was said previously by the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) that the parking rate would be slashed in half, Mayor Patricia Chase-Green has announced today that the 50% reduction is only applicable to vehicles parking for 8 hours or longer.Following mounting pressure form all sides, calling for the controversial parking meter project to be scrapped and with the President belatedly calling for a reduction in the ‘burdensome’ prices, on Monday last, the Mayor had said that persons will now be required to pay $25 per 15 minutes of parking, which would equate to $100 per hour of parking, along with 14% VAT (Value Added Tax), instead of the original amount of $200 per hour plus 14% VAT.However, during a M&CC and Smart City Solutions (SCS) presser held this afternoon, the Mayor announced that both parties have agreed to “reduce metered parking rates charged for parking for eight (8) eight hours and more by fifty percent (50%). This discount will be available to everyone directly at the parking meters.”It was then outlined that “the metered parking fee for all motorist parking for periods of 15 minutes to 4 hours shall remain the same at $50 per 15 minutes plus VAT” ($200 per hour.)However if a motorist pays for 4 hours of parking at the same $50 per 15 minutes plus 14% VAT, then according to the Mayor they “will automatically be credited with 8 hours of metered parking.”The M&CC had also said prior, that fees applicable to clamping and booting (immobilization) of vehicles would be revised. It was announced today that charges for immobilization would be reduced by 50%, which would equate to $4000 plus 14% VAT, as opposed to its previous price of $8000 plus 14% VAT.However, that reduction would only last for a period of 6 months, following which the prices for clamping and booting would then presumably return to its original state.According to the Mayor, “there will be no immobilization fee penalty for a one month adjustment period.”She said that during this period, vehicles which are immobilized by the parking meter wardens would be required to pay the metered parking fee for the length of time that they were immobilized.So for the one month adjustment period only, if a vehicle is clamped or booted (immobilized) for not paying parking (for example) in excess of an hour, then instead of paying the $4,000 fine, the motorist would pay for the one hour of parking which would in this case be $200.When that one month period expires, the 6 months rate of $4,000 will be applicable until that 6 months period expires and the original $8,000 immobilization rate resumes.The M&CC also outlined that a no clamping grace period of 15 minutes will be introduced. Meaning that no clamping will be conducted until at least 15 minutes after expiry of a parking ticket receipt. So “a vehicle parked at 1:00pm and purchased 1 hour of metered parking; this car may not be immobilized until after 2:15pm.”Pay by SpaceIt was also announced by the M&CC that “rather than paying for a particular space for a particular amount of time, motorists will instead be paying for parking time for their particular car. This effectively means that motorists may purchase any amount of parking time then move from any metered parking space anywhere in the City for the amount of time purchased on a single parking ticket until its expiry.”Special considerationsM&CC had outlined on Monday last that Bank employees will be once again allowed to utilise their company’s parking lots. These employees, they said, would also be facilitated with monthly parking permits at a lower rate, provided that their names are submitted to the M&CC by their respective companies.In today’s presser it was announced that “businesses may apply for monthly parking permits which my be considered on a case by case basis” and that “businesses may apply for loading/offloading parking regulations as their business needs may require on a case by case basis.”Moreover, the M&CC said that residents may apply for residential parking permits but it was not mentioned at what lower rates these permits would be given if any.What was announced however, is that official taxis and minibuses will be able to purchase monthly parking passes “for $12, 000 per month plus VAT” and that M&CC will resume implementation of the Parking Meter project on February 19, next week Monday.Since its inception, various stakeholders including the Parliamentary Opposition and the private sector had severely criticised the Parking Meter project saying that it reeks of corruption and will only add additional burden to businesses and citizens alike.The Mayor and Town Clerk who seemed bent on moving ahead with the project in spite of the many criticisms had contended that the initiative will assist in easing congestion in the city and will also generate much needed income for the M&CC.Yesterday, Chief Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards (ag) had issued an order bringing paid parking, penalties and the implementation of the controversial parking meter contract in Georgetown to a screeching halt, pending the results of a hearing later this month.The order was granted after an application for judicial review was made by Attorney Kamal Ramkarran, on behalf of Mohendra Arjune. Mayor Patricia Chase Green, Town Clerk Royston King and City Councillors were named as the respondents.At the press conference when questioned about the resumption of the project, even though a Court order was in effect, Mayor Chase-Green said that it would not conflict with their resumption.Against the backdrop of all the above mentioned, the Movement Against Parking Meters (MAPM) yesterday had the largest turnout for its third protest against the controversial parking meters, with many vowing support to the movement until the contract is scrapped.