Walz Delays Line 3 Again, Proving Modern “Environmentalism” Has Little To Do With The Environment
Today, the Walz administration plans to file an appeal that will again delay the replacement of the aging Enbridge Line 3 oil pipeline. This project would provide thousands of good paying, union jobs and make the environment safer for future generations by reducing the risk of an oil spill in Minnesota. Unfortunately, modern “environmentalism” has little to do with improving the environment.
Not About the Environment or “The Science”
The most important thing to know about Walz’s decision to delay the project is that it has nothing to do with the potential environmental impacts of the pipeline. In fact, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has reviewed the project and determined that the new pipeline would be safer and pose less risk to the environment than the current pipeline. “The science,” has spoken. This project meets the environmental and engineering standards needed to protect the environment. The Walz administration isn’t disputing this, either.
Instead, the Walz administration is suing to delay the pipeline by arguing that the oil transported by the pipeline won’t be needed in the future, so the pipeline project isn’t necessary.
This position is pure malarkey.
Minnesota’s Energy Reality
Oil is the single-largest source of energy used by Minnesotans every year and this isn’t going to change anytime soon.
The graph below uses data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration and shows oil constituted 33 percent of the total energy consumption in the state in 2018, the most recent year data are available. This means we use 6.6 times more energy from oil every year than we get from wind, and 33 times more energy from oil than solar. And unlike wind and solar, we can use oil anytime we want, we do not need to hope that the weather is cooperating.
The Walz administration is pretending that it can reduce the use of fossil fuels like oil by unilaterally imposing California car mandates in Minnesota that would reduce fuel consumption and mandate the use of electric cars on our roads.
But California’s energy policies are a complete disaster, as evidenced by the fact that millions of Californians suffered from rolling blackouts last weekend because the sun wasn’t shining and the wind wasn’t blowing. It has never been more obvious that California’s energy policies are a total failure, and we should use the Golden State as an example of what not to do.
Some may argue that oil is primarily used for transportation, not generating electricity, but who in their right mind would buy an electric car that is more expensive to purchase and less useful in cold weather if Minnesotans will also have to worry about whether they will be able to charge their cars if the wind isn’t blowing or the sun isn’t shining?
According to ElectricityMap, this is happening right now, as the wind is producing just 4.4 percent of its potential output. Good luck charging your Tesla on your Green New Deal Power Grid.
Pipeline Delay is All Pain No Gain
Delaying the pipeline is bad for the environment, and it is also bad for the thousands of Minnesotans who would have high-paying, union jobs on this environmental improvement project. According to the Mesabi Tribune:
“With another delay to Line 3, so too are thousands of estimated jobs in construction and support positions through transportation and logistics, according to Enbridge, with about $160 million to be spent on local workforce payroll. Enbridge signed a project-labor agreement in 2019 to use a union workforce of about 2,000 workers to build the project.”
In delaying the pipeline, Walz has sided with ultra-liberal urban environmental activists (who pretend we don’t need oil) over the Iron Range DFLers who support common sense environmental protections and are eager for new economic opportunities. The Mesabi Tribune writes:
“I’m beyond frustrated and disappointed by this decision,” State Rep. Dave Lislegard, DFL-Aurora, said on Tuesday. “This project has been through a rigorous environmental review process that included over 70 public hearings, and it’s earned approval from the PUC twice. It’s time for the delays to stop and get the project started so folks in northern Minnesota can get back work. This isn’t the ‘One Minnesota’ we were promised.”
Line 3 will help put food on the table for thousands of hardworking Minnesotans. It will make the environment safer by replacing an old, corroding pipeline with a newer, safer version. It will deliver more oil, more efficiently to the families who rely upon it every single day to drive to work, drop their kids off at school, or go to the grocery store.
Walz’s inability to “follow the science” on Line 3 instills zero confidence that his administration will allow copper-nickel mining to occur in Minnesota. It is not hard to imagine a world where the administration dangles the optical illusion of mining jobs in front of the Iron Range long enough to reap political benefits before appealing permits in the courts to indefinitely delay the projects as soon as they are ready to start moving dirt.
Are We Doomed to Become Walzifornia?
Now more than ever, it is clear there are Two Minnesota’s in our state: one where rioting, looting, and tearing down public property are not prosecuted and are given tacit approval by the Walz administration and Attorney General Keith Ellison, and one where the full force of the law descends upon rodeos, sports bars that want to open, and barbers who are simply trying to make a living.
One that siphons money from the rest of the state to rebuild burned stores in Minneapolis after the Governor failed to act, and one that is denied good paying, family-supporting jobs because the Governor is more concerned with looking like an environmentalist than actually protecting the environment.