On Tuesday, Governor Tim Walz’s announced his decision to proceed with efforts to challenge the Enbridge Line 3 replacement pipeline. The petition for reconsideration challenges the unanimous decision by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to grant the certificate of need for the pipeline.

Senator Mark Johnson (R-East Grand Forks) issued the following statement in response:

“Today’s decision by Governor Tim Walz to hamstring the replacement of Enbridge’s Line 3 is deeply disappointing.  The Governor has stated that we need to take another look at the project. Has he forgotten that we’ve had nearly five years of review with all agencies unanimously supporting the project? For a Governor that has pushed so hard for the idea of ‘One Minnesota,’ I can’t see how siding with extreme environmentalists represents Minnesota’s interests.”

Just this week, the Star Tribune reported that safety officials are concerned about 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.

Senator Johnson has been a long supporter of the Enbridge Line 3 Replacement Project. A study by the University of Minnesota Duluth determined the project would bring over $2 billion in direct and related spending. Additionally, the project would create an estimated 8,600 jobs, amounting to a payroll of $344 million over two years and an additional $19.5 million in property tax revenue annually.