Walz Will Continue Appeal of Pipeline Project Approval

Gov. Tim Walz has decided to continue appealing state regulators' approval of Enbridge's Line 3 replacement project. Gov. Tim Walz has decided to continue appealing state regulators' approval of Enbridge's Line 3 replacement project. |  Photo: Enbridge

Updated: February 12, 2019 10:16 AM

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Gov. Tim Walz says his administration will continue to appeal regulatory approval of the Enbridge Energy Line 3 pipeline project in northern Minnesota.

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State utility regulators last summer approved Enbridge Energy's plans to build a new $2.6 billion pipeline to replace the aging and corroding Line 3. But, former Gov. Mark Dayton's Department of Commerce appealed that decision. Walz on Tuesday said his administration will continue that effort.

Faith leaders gathered in his office last Friday to urge an appeal, while a mostly Republican group of lawmakers urged him to let the project move forward.

Last month, scientists from the activist group Science for the People went to his office to say the Line 3 upgrade will aggravate climate change by facilitating further use of fossil fuels.

Gov. Walz issued the following statement:

"When it comes to any project that impacts our environment and our economy, we must follow the process, the law, and the science,” said Governor Tim Walz. “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.”

Enbridge issued the following statement:

"The Walz administration’s decision to continue an appeal of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission’s unanimous decision to approve the project’s Certificate of Need is unfortunate.  The Commission’s approval came at the end of a thorough review of the facts, spanning four years, thousands of hours of environmental and cultural study, and substantial public comments.  Enbridge believes the Commission will deny petitions for reconsideration as they have in the past.

"Our focus is on actively working with the Walz administration and agencies to develop a clear sense of the schedule for the permits necessary to begin construction of the Line 3 Replacement project."

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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