From crushing our state’s economy with his unilateral decisions, to a poorly handled situation in Minneapolis and his administration’s refusal to let the Line 3 replacement project get off the ground, Gov. Tim Walz’s lack of leadership is a real problem for our state.
And we haven’t even mentioned that he has spent the last two years focused on hiking our taxes, increasing our health care costs, raising our energy costs and suffocating our economy with countless new mandates on employers and Main Street businesses.
Now, the Walz administration is back to throwing sand in the gears of replacing the aging, obsolete Line 3 pipeline with a newer, safer model.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency last February issued the draft 401 Water Quality Certificate permit needed for Line 3 replacement. Four months later, the MPCA announced this week that it will conduct a contested case hearing regarding the 401 permit.
We won’t even know the timeline for the contested case until an administrative law judge is assigned to it. This means yet another construction season down the drain.
Line 3 is a shovel-ready, $2.9 billion private investment set to bring a reported 4,200 family-sustaining construction jobs, millions of dollars in local spending and tax revenues that would help lift people in Northern Minnesota out of poverty. Yet the Walz administration is once again killing Minnesota jobs and harming minority businesses from White Earth to Fond du Lac and beyond.
This is baffling. Line 3 is the most studied pipeline in Minnesota’s history and it already underwent an extensive contested case hearing process lasting nearly five years. There have been countless public comment opportunities and public meetings as this issue is hashed over time and again. The project’s Environmental Impact Statement, Certificate of Need and Route Permit were re-approved on Feb. 4 and Enbridge itself has agreed to numerous permit conditions.
These stall tactics and total disregard for working people by the governor and his administration are inexcusable because we need this project to start now. The governor and MPCA Commissioner Laura Bishop need to hear from Minnesota.
This administration seems to be failing at every turn and this would be an easy victory for the governor. All he would need to do is tell his administration to stop playing games, let work begin on Line 3 and give this state some much-needed positivity to discuss.