Walz reviewing project, which has PUC backing

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz is new to the job and has a responsibility to review a whole host of government policies and actions that came before he entered office. Walz should not simply rubber stamp Dayton administration choices, nor should he toss them out before an in-depth analysis. We believe the new governor deserves lots of leeway to get up to speed and develop his priorities.

So it is understandable that Walz has said he will examine all aspects of a plan by Enbridge Energy to replace the stretch of its Line 3 crude oil pipeline that exists in northern Minnesota. Then Walz will decide whether to proceed with a lawsuit brought by Dayton to overturn the state Public Utilities Commission’s decision to approve the project.

However, with that said … we would argue that those opposed to the project are pushing hard up against reality. U.S. citizens, as consumers, are not going to give up the use of petroleum products, including gasoline, anytime soon. While many people would like to see a transition away from fossil fuel use, there is not a reasonable alternative of sufficient quantity at present. Shutting down pipelines because of hazy concerns like “climate change” is not smart for the U.S. economy, or for political leaders who wish to be respected and remain in office.

Calgary, Alberta-based Enbridge says Line 3, built in the 1960s, needs replacing because it is deteriorating. It says the project would restore full capacity and ensure reliable deliveries of crude oil to Midwestern refineries. The Public Utilities Commission agrees. Which means that, at present, environmental extremist views on the project have not taken root. Nor should they.