ST. PAUL – State Rep. Dale Lueck, R-Aitkin, said he hoped new Gov. Tim Walz would not challenge the Enbridge Line 3 replacement project in court, but had an inkling he would.
Lueck’s concerns became reality on Tuesday, when Walz announced he is filing a petition for reconsideration, challenging the unanimous decision by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to grant the certificate of need for the pipeline.
“I am deeply disappointed Gov. Walz has decided to sabotage the legitimate process of permitting the replace of aging Line 3,” Lueck said. “A detailed Environmental Impact Statement has been completed, years of public hearings were conducted and ultimately the PUC spoke unanimously approving the project. It’s time to get on with replacing this pipeline.”
Lueck said it has been almost a month since he, along with a bipartisan group of 13 other House members from northern Minnesota, wrote a letter to the governor on Jan. 15 requesting a meeting to discuss this issue. Lueck said he has personally followed up with Walz’s office both by phone and email after that initial correspondence. His requests went unfulfilled.
Lueck said he did not make the joint letter public until Feb. 8 as a measure of good faith, a bipartisan gesture he said was not returned.
“Gov. Walz has brought the noxious politics of Washington, D.C. back to St. Paul,” Lueck said. “Apparently the ‘One Minnesota’ slogan is just that, a slogan. We don’t need the Washington, D.C. approach to governing here in Minnesota.”
Just this week, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that safety officials are concerned by increased crude 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.