HJ/EDHerald Journal / Enterprise Dispatch Jan. 16, 2006

Oil pipeline may pass near Cokato, Lester Prairie

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

A 300-mile-long, 24-inch crude oil pipeline is projected to be streaming through the area by 2008.

This proposed project will generate $9 million in local property tax revenue for the counties affected, according to the MinnCan Project.

The proposed pipeline is expected to begin in Clearbrook, Minn. and extend through southwest Wright County and the northeast corner of McLeod County. It would pass south of Cokato and south of Lester Prairie.

The Minnesota Pipeline Company filed for a certificate of need and route permit application with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission for the proposed project this month.

“This is only the first step which will take up to nine months,” said Patty Dunn from the MinnCan Project. “The next step will be communicating with the land owners, state legislature, and affected communities.”

“With tight crude oil supplies and rising fuel prices in Minnesota and across the nation,” due to conditions in the Middle East and the recent hurricanes in the Gulf Coast, there’s a demand for an increase of oil from Canada.

It is estimated within the next 10 years there will an additional one million barrels of crude oil being produced in Canadian resources per year.

According to the MinnCan Project, they want to bring more crude oil to Minnesota to meet the “expanding demand for gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, asphalt, and other petroleum products.”

The expected route is somewhat parallel to that of the already existing pipeline, but will come into St. Paul Park from the south end instead of the north.

The eight months in anticipated construction would “provide commerce for local businesses and create an estimated 1,000 construction and construction-related jobs,” according to MinnCan.

Meetings in the proposed areas will be announced in the newspapers and on the MinnCan web site if and when that time comes.

For more information on the proposed pipeline, check out the MinnCan web site, www.minncanproject.com.

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