The St. Louis County Board is expected to advance a resolution in support of the controversial Enbridge Line 3 replacement project at its committee of the whole meeting Tuesday in Duluth.
Board Chair Mike Jugovich offered the resolution, which includes partisan shots at Gov. Tim Walz and his predecessor, Mark Dayton, saying they have "each worked to oppose it or challenge or delay Minnesota's rigorous review process."
In August, the Department of Commerce, with Walz's approval, said it would appeal the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission granting of the proposed pipeline's certificate of need in February, because, in part, Enbridge did not show need for long-range demand for the larger pipeline.
Jugovich has been on record as opposing symbolic measures from the County Board, including leading the majority as it declined to make a symbolic vote on refugee resettlement consent in May.
"The tax dollars are real, the jobs are real and the survival of a school district is real," Jugovich said. "So, there's nothing symbolic about it."
Jugovich was referring to the Floodwood School District, which he said would benefit economically from the pipeline crossing its community. More than 20 miles of Line 3 would be built in St. Louis County, the resolution says.
Jugovich also denied taking partisan shots at the Democratic Minnesota governors.
"Both of those governors did delay the project — that's factual," he said.
"For more than five years, Enbridge has been working through the process to replace Line 3, a project that would not only better protect our environment — it would also invest private sector dollars in Minnesota and create needed jobs," the resolution says.
The County Board will meet at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in the Government Services Center in Duluth. Due to COVID-19 precautions, public participation will be limited due to the size of the meeting room. The meeting will also be accessible via Facebook Live.
Citizens wishing to comment, but not attending the live meeting, also have a series of ways to comment to the board. Guests can leave a voice message to be read during the meeting at 218-726-2109, or call the same number during the meeting to be placed into a queue to speak live with the County Board.
Emails may also be sent to email@example.com. Submitted emails will be forwarded to the County Board and will be considered part of the record.
This story was updated at 11:25 a.m. Aug. 31 to include comments from Mike Jugovich. It was originally posted at 10:23 a.m. Aug. 31. The story also originally contained an incorrect time for the 9:30 a.m. Tuesday meeting. The News Tribune regrets the error.