Replacing the aging Enbridge Line 3 pipeline has not been an easy process. It’s a political hot potato that Gov. Tim Walz (DFL-MN) inherited from the previous Gov. Mark Dayton (DFL-MN). Walz continued the process of appealing a decision to move forward on the line, slowing the approval and unleashing his first barrage of criticism. Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka called the decision “very, very frustrating,” while House Republican Minority Leader Kurt Daudt recalled that the Governor ran on a platform of bringing the state together: “This is Governor Walz’s first test on what One Minnesota means, and I think he has failed the test.”

In our one-on-one interview, I asked Gov. Walz if this was his toughest week in office so far. He replied, “I wouldn’t say it’s the hardest; this is what’s expected.”

He disagrees with Republican and Democratic rural lawmakers who are disappointed in his decision. Rep. Dale Lueck (R-Aitkin) shared a letter from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, urging the Governor to meet with them and let Line 3 move forward. Initially, he planned to keep the letter private, but opted instead to go a more public route when he didn’t hear back from Walz. “He’s not walking the walk about what a lot of people who voted for him on One Minnesota,” Rep. Lueck said.

Walz responded that “A governor doesn’t have the ability to say no forever. They didn’t elect me to be a dictator; you have to follow the process.”

For more information on the debate surrounding the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline, check out this One Greater Minnesota story.