Recently I read an opinion piece in the Star Tribune from three of our state legislators who are against the Line 3 Pipeline replacement project. These legislators sent a letter to President Biden urging him to stop the Line 3 project just like he did with the Keystone XL Pipeline.

There is one huge difference between these projects. One (Line 3) is replacing an existing pipeline that was built nearly 60 years ago and is crumbling. The other (Keystone XL) would be brand-new construction. Line 3 is being replaced because it poses a great risk for our environment and our communities if left as is. This is why the Obama/Biden administration issued a consent decree that it be replaced.

I think it’s important to point out that while the majority of the gas tax is generated in greater Minnesota, the majority of it is spent in the Twin Cities and surrounding counties.

One of these letter writers is from that same seven county metro area where they have the luxuries of public transit, subsidies by said gas tax funds, Uber, other car services and taxies. Those of us who live in northern Minnesota have none of these things. The Line 3 pipeline is to transport crude oil to the refinery in Duluth where many of the local gas stations obtain our gas.

It is easy to sit in the Twin Cities and have a skewed view of this project and the need for it. But I encourage these legislators to come to northern Minnesota, talk to folks who live in our communities year-round, and get the real picture of why we need this pipeline to continue to deliver us the oil we need to heat our homes, drive to work and simply live.

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Kathy Galliger, City Council member, Aitkin, Minn.