Republican members of the Minnesota House and Senate called a joint press conference earlier this week to condemn Gov. Tim Walz’s (D-MN) decision to re-appeal the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline replacement project.
“The science is sure that this would be environmentally much safer to replace a 51-year-old pipe with a new pipe, so on every issue there he was wrong,” Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa) said in response to Walz’s announcement. “Lawsuits and appeals do not have to be part of the process, and normally shouldn’t be part of the process.”
Walz announced Tuesday morning that he would refile an appeal against the controversial project after an appeal submitted by his predecessor, former Gov. Mark Dayton (D-MN), was dismissed by the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
“Walz and [Lt. Gov. Peggy] Flanagan are the only ones left in the state that need clarity on this project. It has met every test,” Gazelka added. “Delays are not fair to the workers that want these jobs. Frankly, Gov. Walz, on this issue you’re not listening. This is an issue we’ve had a lot of conversation about. It needs to go forward, and there’s a lot of people that are very upset that this process is continuing to delay and delay and delay.”
Today, Senate & House Republicans spoke out strongly against @GovTimWalz's decision to continue appealing the #Line3 pipeline. The governor’s decision ignores the overwhelming public record & puts yet another legal hurdle in the way of thousands of new jobs & public safety. pic.twitter.com/st5XqEby3e
— Minnesota Senate Republicans (@mnsrc) February 12, 2019
House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) said that “this was Gov. Walz’s first test on what ‘One Minnesota’ means, and in this example I think very clearly Gov. Walz has failed the test.”
“This was an opportunity to side with Minnesotans, to side with jobs, to side with the science, to side with local governments who are looking forward to the property tax revenue. Gov. Walz chose to side with extreme environmentalists,” Daudt said.
Gazelka said he hopes this will be a “lesson for the governor,” and called it “a big mistake.”
Walz discussed the appeal on WCCO Thursday afternoon on the Paul & Jordana show.
“This has been studied over and over again. What is the plan moving forward for this stalemate?” host Jordana Green asked.
“No, it hasn’t. We should always follow science. We should follow the law, and we should follow process,” Walz responded. “Our administration’s role, you know, what I say on this is that you’ve got to have people believe that the process was followed correctly.”
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Minnesota Senate Republicans” by Minnesota Republicans.