Governor Tim Walz will continue the Dayton administration’s appeal of the controversial Enbridge Line 3 pipeline upgrade in northern Minnesota A State Court of Appeals ruling set a February 12th deadline for the governor to decide whether he’ll ask the Public Utilities Commission to reconsider its earlier order allowing the Line 3 project to move forward. Even if Walz asks and the P-U-C says “no,” he would then have the option to go to court as former Governor Dayton did.
Walz, in a statement, says “When it comes to any project that impacts our environment and our economy, we must follow the process, the law, and the science. The Dayton Administration’s appeal of the PUC’s decision is now a part of this process. By continuing that process, our Administration will raise the Department of Commerce’s concerns to the court in hopes of gaining further clarity for all involved. As I often say, projects like these don’t only need a building permit to go forward, they also need a social permit. Our Administration has met with groups on all sides of this issue, and Minnesotans deserve clarity.” And Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan adds, “the decision to continue the Dayton Administration’s appeal will help ensure that Minnesota’s permitting process is clear, thorough, and fair. As this process goes forward, our Administration will continue meeting with Minnesotans passionate about this issue and engaging in meaningful consultation with affected tribes.”
Opponents warn a leak on the crude oil pipeline could seriously harm lakes and groundwater. Supporters claim the project has had a rigorous environmental review. House Minority leader Kurt Daudt of Crown says Walz “campaigned on a vision of “One Minnesota,” but he is throwing up unnecessary roadblocks that once again delay jobs for Minnesota laborers and property tax revenue for communities across northern Minnesota.” And Daudt says the governor “is choosing today to stand on the side of extreme environmentalists who occupy his office, shut down meetings, and commit felonies because they refuse to accept that pipelines are the safest way to transport oil.”