One day after clearing the final regulatory hurdle for Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline, the company says it hopes to avoid the violence seen last summer when protesters clashed with private security at the Dakota Access Pipeline.  Photo courtesy Morton County Sheriff. 

Opponents have vowed to stop Line 3 construction

One day after receiving approval to rebuilt its Line 3 pipeline, Enbridge Inc. says it will not hire private security for the construction project, and is hoping to avoid violence seen in 2016 as protesters clashed with security forces at the Dakota Access Pipeline.

“No one wants a Dakota Access situation,” Guy Jarvis, Enbridge’s executive vice-president of liquids pipelines and major projects, told Reuters. “We certainly don’t plan to be engaging our own security efforts as a replacement or a supplement to the official law enforcement agencies. That’s different.”

On Thursday, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved the project which will ship Alberta crude to refiners in the US Midwest.

Opponents to the $7 billion project have vowed to bring the project to a halt and have compared their upcoming efforts to those of DAPL protests.

Initially, protests of the DAPL were peaceful, however, after opponents were pepper-sprayed and attacked by security dogs, tensions escalated.  By the end of 2016, the number of protestors had increased significantly and they were quelled by tear gas and hit by water cannons in freezing winter weather.

“We’re here to make sure that nobody gets hurt,” Jarvis said. “If you employ your own security to do (law enforcement), you’re broadening your responsibilities to an area where we don’t believe we should go.”

Enbridge does hold a minority share in the Dakota Access Pipeline and Winona LaDuke, executive director of the Honor the Earth activist group told Reuters she is “pretty skeptical” that the Calgary-based company will leave security to police.

She says that during the DAPL protests, she asked that Enbridge get involved, but they did not.

“I asked them to de-escalate that situation,” she said.

According to Jarvis, Enbridge believes it will have full authorization to begin construction of the project by November and work could begin by early 2019.

Enbridge shares were up 7 per cent on Friday.