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Walz tightlipped as Line 3 decision deadline looms

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, center, told reporters on Monday, Feb. 11, that he'd meet with stakeholders before announcing whether he'd drop an appeal blocking the Enbridge Line 3 project. Dana Ferguson / Forum News Service

ST. PAUL - Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz will have to decide by Tuesday whether to call for the reconsideration of an appeal blocking the construction of the Enbridge Line 3 oil pipeline or let the project move forward.

Hours ahead of the deadline, the DFL governor declined to share his decision with reporters. Walz said he would announce a decision before Tuesday morning. And he said he planned to meet with stakeholders and write to legislative leaders before making his plans public.

“The reasoning behind that I think is important,” Walz said Monday, Feb. 11.

At stake is the fate of the repair project on the 340 miles of pipeline that carries oil from Alberta, Canada, to Superior, Wis. Groups supporting and opposing the construction have flocked to the governor's office in the weeks since Walz announced he would review an appeal to the Public Utilities Commission's decision to approve the project. That appeal came under the Dayton Administration.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals last week dismissed the appeal and said that was filed "prematurely" before the Public Utilities Commission issued its final order. It also said the Walz administration could file for reconsideration but would have to do that before Tuesday.

Republican lawmakers on Friday penned a letter to Walz urging him to drop the appeal and let the project advance.