Reader's View: If COVID a priority for Walz, why Line 3?

It is not essential.

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I agreed with Gov. Tim Walz’s decision to use emergency powers to stop the spread of the coronavirus. I would then think halting the spread of COVID-19 would be a major factor in all his decisions.

What was Walz and his administration thinking with the approval of the Line 3 Replacement Project in the midst of a pandemic? Construction will bring thousands of out-of-state workers to Minnesota to build a pipeline the Minnesota Department of Commerce has said is not needed. It is not essential.

When Line 3 was constructed through Pembina County, North Dakota, between August and Oct. 14, COVID-19 cases increased 540%, as Common Dreams reported on Nov. 24.

In Minnesota, Line 3 cuts through indigenous communities, increasing exposure to those who are already at greater risk of contracting COVID-19. How will their health care systems cope? How will the rest of the state, with ICU beds at near capacity, handle even more COVID-19 cases with an influx of workers on Line 3?

Is stopping COVID-19 an emergency priority for Walz or is it not? Has a risk assessment been completed? How many COVID-19 cases and deaths are acceptable per mile of pipeline laid?


Mary Arps Thompson


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