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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Tama Theis (R)

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Capitol Update from Rep. Tama Theis

Friday, February 15, 2019

Hello from St. Paul,

This week, Governor Walz chose to proceed with efforts to challenge the Enbridge Line 3 replacement pipeline in court.

Enbridge Energy wants to construct a new oil pipeline in Minnesota to replace its existing Line 3 pipeline in order to address pipeline integrity and safety concerns related to the existing Line 3 and to restore the output of the line to its original operating capacity of 760,000 barrels per day. The pipeline would enter Minnesota in Kittson County along the North Dakota border and end in Superior, Wisconsin.

Despite a detailed Environmental Impact Statement that been completed, years of public hearings conducted and unanimous project approval by the Public Utilities Commission,

Walz announced he is filing a petition for reconsideration, challenging the decision by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to grant the certificate of need for the pipeline.

This is troubling news. We have record amounts of oil trains traveling through our communities every day due in part to this Line 3 holdup. Just this week, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that safety officials are concerned by increased oil train traffic coming in from Canada. The article specifically cited "pipeline limbo" as a factor that is partially to blame for the increase in rail traffic.

The Governor’s decision not only puts the brakes on constructing a plan that ensures the safest way to transport oil, but puts thousands of good paying jobs in jeopardy. I’m deeply disappointed by Governor Walz’ response.



You might recall that last week’s update, dealing with affordable housing, was published in the St. Cloud Times. This week I attended a discussion on building codes and the pros and cons that surround this topic across the state. As Republican Lead on the Minnesota House Housing Finance and Policy Division, I continue to meet with a number of stakeholders as we try to find ways to encourage the construction of more affordable homes and to provide our communities with more reasonably priced places to live.



On Wednesday, the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce held its “Evening at the Capitol” event in St. Paul. It was great to see so many familiar faces.

My thanks to everyone who traveled to St. Paul and not only made this event a success, but made their voices heard with lawmakers from around the state.


Have a good weekend,