LETTER: Local business owner backs new oil pipeline

To the Editor:

My father Joe was a small business owner. It’s what I proudly do today. My son, Jake, is following in our footsteps.

We’ve owned Brausen Auto since 1969 when Dad opened the business as a two-bay automotive service and repair shop. Now, we have four car repair centers and gas stations in the Arden Hills and Roseville areas. Our approach at the pump and in the service bay hasn’t changed: We give our neighbors a fair shake and get them back on the road, fast.

Running a small business is rarely smooth sailing, but the bumpiest rides we endured were when gas prices hit $4 a gallon in 2008 and 2013. It was a terrible time for small businesses and tough on independent gas dealers whose profit margins range closer to pennies on the gallon. We made it through, but many others in our industry didn’t. Consumers bore the brunt.

Minnesotans today pay lower than the national average for gas because of our state’s steady supply of crude. That’s why I was alarmed to see Administrative Law Judge Ann O’Reilly’s recent “in-trench replacement” recommendation for Enbridge’s Line 3, which could shut down the existing Line 3 for up to 16 months and drive up prices — all reasons why the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission should think otherwise.

I’ve seen what supply shortages and cost uncertainty do to everyday Minnesotans. An in-trench replacement of Line 3 like the judge recommended would hit us all in the wallet — and it’s completely avoidable.

Ted Brausen, Roseville

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