Where Are the Jobs? Enbridge Line 3 Construction Failing to Employ Minnesotans

Crosslake, MN – Despite promises that 75% of jobs constructing the Line 3 tar sands pipeline would be given to Minnesota workers, a recent Enbridge employment report shows that of the nearly 5,000 employees only one third of workers are Minnesota residents. The Canadian multinational corporation Enbridge filed its 4th Quarter, 2020 employment report this month, indicating it had 4,642 people working on constructing the Line 3 Tar Sands Pipeline. Of those, 1,548 workers (33 percent) were Minnesota residents, while 3,094 workers (67 percent) were from out of state. In addition, the report notes that non residents worked almost 72 percent of total hours, while Minnesota residents worked just over 28 percent of total hours. 

Enbidge’s job promise states that the Line 3 Replacement Project would create “about 8,600 jobs (6,500 of them local) in Minnesota over a two-year period, including 4,200 union construction jobs, half of which are expected to be filled locally.” However, instead of 75% of jobs (6,500 out of 8,600) being local, the opposite is true with nearly 75% of hours worked by out of state workers. There’s no requirement for Enbridge to report on the number of union jobs (local versus out of state), but the report’s data suggest it’s not meeting its 50 percent target for union jobs going to Minnesota residents.

On June 27, 2018, one day before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved Line 3’s permits, PUC Commissioner John Tuma spoke to the importance of local job creation to the decision: It’s like building two Vikings stadiums, “the Super Bowl of projects,” he said. “That’s the big selling point.”

Tom Watson of Crosslake, MN, former President Whitefish Area Property Owners Association and elected public official, said on the issue “The recent 4th quarter report by Enbridge Energy, developer of Line 3, is embarrassing, but not unexpected for those of us following the Minnesota and federal approval process. There is obviously no follow-up or consequence with Minnesota regulatory agencies for Enbridge’s failed promises to hire 50% of employees from Minnesota residents. Enbridge promoted 8,500 new jobs and a $2 billion capital investment in and for Minnesota. Now, North Central Minnesota is faced with a new, expanded pipeline corridor… The inevitable Enbridge oil spills will create more jobs for sure, and maybe will enable Enbridge to finally achieve its promotional story of “local jobs” which sold Minnesota regulators.”

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