LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Time is now for approval of Line 3 permits
This is a remarkable and trying time in our history. It seems every generation has faced challenges. Our generation is facing one that is indeed unprecedented. For each of us, our families, and our communities, what is happening now challenges us first to get through this, and next to then come together to respond and rebuild.
Be thankful that this is not the new normal. It is normal that after every disaster there comes a time to rebuild. What is also normal is hardworking Minnesotans will be leading the charge to bring back the jobs that were here before the COVID-19 held us hostage and forced many of us to stay home.
In Gov. Walz’s State of the State speech he was right to say, “We will do whatever it takes to support Minnesotans and businesses to get back on their feet.” He went on to say, “No matter how daunting the challenge; no matter how dark the times; Minnesota has always risen up — by coming together.”
Minnesotans did come together this past week when the PCA held their first telephone town hall to let people make and share comments about the Line 3 project. After this very long process that we all have been going through for more than four years, it was refreshing to see so many Minnesotans gathering on their own time to continue to support this vital project. Throughout the whole town hall, it was very apparent that more of the people on the call were in favor of Line 3.
One very important way for Gov. Walz to lead that charge and to bring his idea to life is to come together with Minnesotans to support and approve the Line 3 replacement project to boost Minnesota’s economic recovery. Let’s support bringing 8,600 jobs that will invest more than $2 billion of private investment into the cities along the route. According to a UMD study, construction work alone would inject $162 million in total economic impact to support 2,800 retail and hospitality sector jobs at the bars, restaurants, resorts, campgrounds and stores that were forced to close.
Given the current economic circumstances, Minnesota can best protect our environment with state-of-the-art infrastructure improvements and heal our economy at the same time. The time to approve the permits for Line 3 is now.