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Pipeline Project Steps Forward

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Enbridge Pipeline LLC took another step forward Thursday morning, in its search for approval on a new billion dollar project.

The North Dakota Public Service Commission held the last of three public hearings on Enbridge's proposed 299 mile Sandpiper Pipeline. The 24 inch line would run through nine counties in North Dakota and would have the capacity to carry 225,000 barrels of crude oil per day. Today was the last chance for Enbridge to testify in favor of the project.

The company says the pipeline's success will be attributed to North Dakota land owners. 

"Although we have a legal easement to be on the property, in many ways we view ourselves as guests on that property. We value that relationship, I think if you were to survey the majority of our landowners, they would think that we treat them very well and very fairly," says  the director of North Dakota Regional Robert Steed. "That's not to say that you'll find 100 percent having that viewpoint, but the vast majority will."

After the Enbridge testimony, the public gave their comments of the project. While not everyone was in favor of the Sandpiper line, a majority of the comments made in Minot were positive.

"Knowing there's a pipeline commitment from Endbridge will go a long ways to improve the perception that the industry is here for at least two generations to come," says District 5 Rep. Scott Louser. "It will cause individuals to not be transit workers, and hopefully will bring their families to our community."

"In my eyes, Enbridge makes sure they bring the best skilled contractors and workers for jobs like these. I wanted to let everyone know in a positive way how putting this line in helps this area," says Laborers' International Union representative Matt Duncombe. "There are many career opportunities for the people that live around here. I had a chance to talk to some of our skilled laborers and how much they're looking forward to seeing this pipeline move forward.  Many people like myself depend on jobs like these to support our families."

The Public Service Commissioners expect to collect all of the project information and public comments and make a final decision on the Sandpiper line in April.

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