Walz Administration to Appeal Latest Approvals For Line 3 Replacement
Governor Tim Walz’s administration said Tuesday it will appeal the latest approvals by state utility regulators for Enbridge Energy’s plan to replace its old and corroding Line 3 crude oil pipeline across northern Minnesota.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce faced a deadline of Wednesday for filing a request to ask the state Court of Appeals to take another look at the project. The Public Utilities Commission reaffirmed its support for the project in February. Environmental and tribal groups opposed to the pipeline have already filed their appeals.
Calgary, Alberta-based Enbridge says replacing the aging pipeline, which was built in the 1960s, is the safest option for maintaining the oil supply to Midwest refineries. The company says its planned $2.6 billion investment will put 4,200 people to work in union construction jobs while boosting tax revenues for the state and communities along the route.
But opponents have long argued that the Canadian Tar Sands oil that the replacement pipeline would carry would aggravate climate change, and that spills could endanger sensitive waters and wetlands in the Mississippi River Headwaters region where Native Americans harvest wild rice and claim treaty rights.