The boss of the Calgary-based company that wants to transport more Canadian heavy crude oil via an expanded pipeline through Minnesota says the project is different from the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

Enbridge Energy CEO Al Monaco was asked on an analyst conference call Wednesday about possible environmental opposition to upgrading the 1,000-mile Alberta Clipper line. The line cuts across northern Minnesota to Superior, Wis. Like TransCanada’s Keystone XL, a proposed pipeline in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska, Enbridge needs a U.S. State Department permit to cross the U.S. border from Canada. In March, environmental groups fighting the Keystone XL project pledged to expand their campaign to Enbridge’s project, which adds new pumping stations to an existing line.

“This is a little bit of a different situation,” Monaco said. “I won’t deny that there will likely be some focus on it as well. But … the pipe is in the ground. We’re talking about a relatively limited amount of work here from an environmental point of view.”

Monaco said the company will “obviously wait to see how it unfolds” and work closely with the State Department on the requirements.


cummins power gets vip thank-yous

The 1,900 local employees of Cummins Power Generation, a unit of Ohio-based Cummins Inc., recently were thanked by U.S. Sen. Al Franken and Sharon Burke, the top energy official at the Department of Defense, for producing advanced power generators that have slashed the military’s fuel tab in Afghanistan by 21 percent. That also increases safety for the troops who make fewer fuel-transport runs.

The global headquarters for Cummins Power ( is Shoreview. Its largest U.S. manufacturing plant is in Fridley.

These generators, some of which can run on multiple fuels, including natural gas, are so efficient that many of them meet or exceed the latest U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards as “zero emission” engines, according to Cummins. These machines typically are produced first for the military and then move into the commercial markets where they provide more power with less pollution.

“We expect our impact on the Minnesota economy to grow as we grow globally,” said Jon Mills, a Cummins executive. The company has a Minnesota payroll and purchasing budget of $343 million.

Recon’s Scout XL unveiled in London

Edina-based ReconRobotics, a global leader in tactical micro-robot systems for the U.S. military and police agencies, introduced the Recon Scout XL reconnaissance robot at the Counter Terror Expo in London last month. The 1.4-pound Scout XL is designed for use by law enforcement and military personnel to conduct reconnaissance on rough ground as well as within cluttered indoor environments. The robot features a trademarked two-wheel, single-axle design, plus aggressive wheels and a distinctive stabilizing tail that produce superior obstacle climbing ability. Military personnel will use the robot to conduct surveillance and search high-risk environments for adversaries, weapons caches and explosives. Recon, with roots in University of Minnesota technology, had 2013 sales of $22 million and 56 employees.

social enterprise alliance summit will be ‘the biggest one’

The Social Enterprise Alliance, the national umbrella group for more than 1,000 nonprofits that generate at least some revenue from business operations, will hold its 13th national summit and its inaugural one in Minneapolis May 19-22.

“This will be the biggest one,” said Kevin Lynch, executive director of the Social Enterprise Alliance (SEA), and a former advertising executive who also ran the former Rebuild Resources. It merged into the job-shop business of self-sufficiency and training nonprofit Project for Pride in Living (PPL) in 2011.

“The May 20 expo is sold out with 50 social-enterprise exhibitors. We’re now attracting the corporate and government purchasing managers with whom they can do business.”

The May 20 afternoon “marketplace” will run from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Downtown Marriott Hotel. The local exhibitors will include Cookie Cart, Lifetrack Resources, Momentum Enterprises, Goodwill/Easter Seals, Peace Coffee and Genesys Works. Lynch has moved SEA’s national office and four employees from Washington D.C. to Minneapolis. More information at


• There’s still room to register for “Doing Business in South Africa” on Wednesday, May 15, sponsored by the Minnesota Trade Office and St. Paul-based Books for Africa. The afternoon program will include insights from a Donaldson Co. business manager who operates in the country, Donnadelliah Malueke of the South African Consulate General’s office in Chicago, and concluding remarks and a reception featuring Ebrahim Rasool, the South African ambassador to the United States. For more information on the event at the St. Paul Athletic Club, contact 651-259-7486 or

• Minnesota business and civic leaders will gather Wednesday at the Nicollet Island Pavilion to honor finalists and recipients of the 14th annual Minnesota Business Ethics Award (MBEA).

This year’s finalists include: Cresa Minneapolis/St. Paul; Douglas Scientific; Latuff Brothers Auto Body; Affinity Federal Credit Union; Mintahoe Catering and Events; Premier Disability Services; Cummins Power Generation, and St. Francis Regional Medical Center. The keynote luncheon speaker will be CEO Gregg Steinhafel of Target Corp. More information: