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Letter: Some clarification needed regarding lobbying by Enbridge in Minnesota

In response to Winona LaDuke's column, "Enbridge's Line 3 will become ground zero in the battle over climate change," published July 9:

A recent opinion commentary in the Forum on the Public Utilities Commission's Line 3 decision requires additional clarification about Enbridge's lobbying activities in Minnesota. Under the laws of Minnesota, legal representation and other support related to matters before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission are considered lobbying activities and must be reported as such.

In 2017, more than 95 percent of what qualifies as lobbying expenses in Minnesota was incurred as a result of direct support of matters pending before the MPUC. For Enbridge, this includes legal and other support for the operation of our existing pipeline systems in Minnesota and for the Line 3 Replacement Project. In 2017 alone, there were 40 public meetings held across that state and three weeks of hearings that were conducted as part of the thorough regulatory review process for the Line 3 Replacement Project. The expenses incurred by the company related to these meetings and hearings, including the Administrative Law Judge process, are part of total lobbying expenses which were reported. Less than 5 percent of Enbridge's reported lobbying expenses in 2017 were spent on what most people would consider traditional lobbying — government relations activities related to legislative and/or administrative issues. Enbridge has and will continue to communicate openly with all Minnesotans to ensure they have information about our company and the Line 3 Replacement Project. It's important that Minnesotans know about the measures we are taking to protect Minnesota communities and the environment by replacing Line 3 with a modern pipeline.

Holran is the director of state government affairs for Enbridge.