One year ago, Walz admin questioned the need for oil from Line 3
Exactly one year ago today, the Star Tribune ran a story called “Oil demand questioned as Line 3 permit hits appeals court” in the printed version of the paper.
The report highlighted how the Walz Administration’s Commerce Department and environmental activist groups like the Sierra Club opposed the Line 3 replacement project by arguing that we wouldn’t need the oil.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the subsequent banning of Russian petroleum imports, show that this argument could not have been more wrong.
Thankfully, the replacement of the Line 3 pipeline happened despite the opposition of Walz and the Sierra Club. Now that the new pipeline is running at full capacity, it is delivering more oil to the United States every day than we imported from the Russians in 2021. This is a very big deal.
The fact that we still need oil is no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention. U.S. Energy Information Administration data show that oil was the single most important energy source for Minnesota in 2019, constituting 35 percent of all the energy we used that year.
To think we could just turn off the oil taps was always unrealistic, but this mindset is also dangerous because it could have compromised American energy security.
If the Walz administration and Sierra Club had successfully stopped the pipeline replacement project, the United States would have been even more dependent upon countries like Russia for our energy, and gasoline prices would be even higher than they are today.
Minnesota and America at large are fortunate that Line 3 was completed, but it is important to remember that the Sierra Club and the Walz administration were dead wrong about the need for Line 3. Minnesotans need a serious energy policy that focuses on pragmatism, not ideological opposition to the fuels that power our lives.