Jimmy Lovrien is a reporter for the Duluth News Tribune. He spent the summer of 2015 as an intern for the Duluth News Tribune and was hired full time in October 2017 as a reporter for the Weekly Observer. He also reported for the Lake County News-Chronicle in 2017-18. Lovrien grew up in Alexandria, Minn., but moved to Duluth in 2013 to attend The College of St. Scholastica. Lovrien graduated from St. Scholastica in 2017 with a bachelor's degree in English and history. He also spent a summer studying journalism at the University of California, Berkeley.
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DULUTH — The Minnesota Department of Commerce formally requested the Minnesota Public Utilities Commision reconsider its decision to approve the Enbridge Line 3 oil pipeline replacement Tuesday, Sept. 25. The Department of Commerce, which has long opposed the pipeline project, argued the PUC did not base their decision to approve Line 3's certificate of need on future demand for crude oil and instead largely based it on the safety and integrity of the existing Line 3. The PUC's order "contains legal errors and ambiguities," the Department of Commerce said.
ST PAUL — A Minnesota Public Utilities Commission meeting to consider certificate of need modifications for Enbridge Energy's Line 3 oil pipeline Tuesday, Sept. 11, in St. Paul ended abruptly after being disrupted by pipeline opponents. The protesters, who describe themselves as water protectors, sat with their backs turned to the commission for the first hour of discussion with shirts that read "Public Utilities Cowards" on the back.
DULUTH—The United States Department of Agriculture ended the mineral withdrawal in the Rainy River Watershed Thursday, effectively opening the possibility for mining companies to obtain mineral leases within the watershed. It's a win for the proposed Twin Metals copper mine along the Kawishiwi River near Ely, within the Rainy River Watershed and on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, but a loss to critics who say the project could send tainted runoff into the BWCAW. Twin Metals intends to store the tailings near Babbitt, which is outside the watershed.
The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa will allow Enbridge Energy to route the new Line 3 oil pipeline through their reservation. In a joint letter filed Aug. 31, Enbridge and Fond du Lac agreed the pipeline could follow the existing corridor through the reservation, referred to as Route Segment Alternative 22, or RSA 22, rather than the route around it, RSA 21. RSA 22 has been Enbridge's preferred route. "Financial terms are confidential," the letter said.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce said the Line 3 decommissioning trust fund filed by Enbridge Energy isn't good enough.
DULUTH — Although Enbridge's Line 3 replacement was approved Thursday, the company still needs to clear several hurdles before construction can begin on the 340-mile oil pipeline across Minnesota. But Guy Jarvis, Enbridge's vice president of liquids, pipelines and major projects, said Friday morning, June 30, that he still expects the project to obtain an authorization to construct in November so work on the pipeline can begin and finish within 2019.
ST. PAUL — For some Northland residents, the approval of a new oil pipeline was reason to celebrate. For others, it was reason to grieve. As Public Utilities Commission members indicated their support for the Enbridge Line 3 replacement pipeline Thursday afternoon, June 28, pipeline opponents poured out of the hearing room in tears, embracing each other. "It's bringing out those emotional responses from people who have been traumatized over generations," Anna Marie Yliniemi of Duluth said as she watched people exit the hearing room.
Exceptions to an administrative law judge's recommendation that the Enbridge Line 3 replacement pipeline follow the existing route across Minnesota were filed with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on Wednesday. Enbridge and several northern Minnesota bands, including the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, pushed back against the judge's non-binding recommendation filed last month that called for the route to pass through two reservations — Leech Lake and Fond du Lac — instead of around them, as Enbridge had proposed.