EVELETH MAYOR ROBERT VLAISAVLJEVICH SAYS OPPONENTS NEED TO ACCEPT MINNESOTA SUPREME COURT DECISION TO NOT REVIEW LINE 3 PERMITS AS THE FINAL YES FOR A PROJECT THAT IS ALMOST COMPLETE
(EVELETH, MINN) Eveleth Mayor Robert Vlaisavljevich today called on groups opposed to the Line 3 Replacement project to finally stop protests that continue to stretch public safety resources and cost taxpayers. Vlaisavljevich’s call comes after a recent decision by the Minnesota Supreme Court to not review permits issued by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. The court’s decision ends any legal challenges in Minnesota for the project that is now almost 90 percent complete.
Threats of violence during planned protest events organized by groups opposed to Line 3 forced public safety officials to spend thousands of taxpayer dollars to re-install fences and barricades around the Minnesota State Capitol. A recent protest in Duluth blocked the city’s high bridge, closing off access to a key park and forced police to leave an event for kids. Other protests this year have damaged property, threatened workers, and significantly challenged public safety resources from communities across Northern Minnesota.
“We are way beyond ‘enough is enough’ with these protests and the violence, the threats and costs they bring,” said Eveleth Mayor Robert Vlaisavljevich. “The Minnesota Supreme Court’s decision to not review the permits and the fact construction is almost done means Line 3 is going to happen. We have watched all summer as protestors have brought fear and violence to construction sites and communities to try to bully others to get their way. It didn’t work and it’s time to stop the protests and accept reality.”
After six years of review, construction work on The Line 3 Replacement project is now more than 80 percent complete. Groups opposed to the project have repeatedly asked Minnesota courts to overturn key project permits. The Minnesota Supreme Court’s most recent decision ends any legal challenges in state courts related to the Public Utilities Commission permits for the project.
“It has taken a long time to get here, but the process has worked and it’s time for everyone to accept the result and what really is the final ‘yes,’” Vlaisavljevich said. “Forcing law enforcement and first responders to continue to have to respond to protestors is dangerous. It makes even less sense when it’s clear Line 3 will be in operation later this year. I understand that people oppose the project, but the protestors need to understand things are moving forward.”
The decision to replace Line 3 was made by the Obama Administration. The Biden Administration recently filed its support of federal permits for the project as part of legal proceedings. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz recently reaffirmed his support for the project via an editorial in the Duluth News Tribune. To complete the project, Enbridge has invested more than $2 billion, employed more than 5,000 people, and created an important economic impact to help the region recover from the COVID-economic challenges.
Contact: Susan Goudge
Susan@Minnesotansforline3.com | 218-556-3617