The headline on a March 31 opinion piece written by Duluth Teamsters President Zak Radzak was, "No good reason for Walz's Line 3 delay." There are actually many good reasons.
Walz's decision to appeal Line 3 to the courts was based on both science and facts and leaves it to the courts to sort through those facts.
"The pipeline upgrade would actually benefit the environment," Radzak wrote. "Canada is going to produce oil regardless," and the pipeline is safer than trucking the oil.
But we can do neither. The Line 3 Replacement Project's environmental impact statement filed with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission noted that building this pipeline would produce the equivalent carbon dioxide of 50 new coal power plants.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report released last fall was clear. We need to reduce carbon emissions in the next 12 years - or else.
Radzak and others say the existing "Line 3 is worn out" and that replacing it would keep the existing Line 3 from leaking. Enbridge spent $11.1 million lobbying the PUC last year, pushing the idea that Line 3 is worn out.
However, the Minnesota Department of Commerce noted in its appeal to the courts that it is not the job of the PUC to replace Line 3. The Public Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is responsible for determining if Line 3 is safe and for Enbridge's compliance.
I sympathize with Radzak. We all have mouths to feed, and building the pipeline would create jobs. But it would do so at the expense of air quality for all Minnesotans. Those jobs are temporary. The effects of climate change are real, including being able to breathe the air around us.
Let's build jobs around renewable energy instead. It is time.
Brian C. PaStarr