Walz administration to file appeal against Line 3, delaying project

The Minnesota Department of Commerce will keep up its legal fight against the state's Public Utilities Commission over the Line 3 oil pipeline, further delaying the project.

The Commerce Department will file a legal appeal Wednesday, which was the deadline to do so.

The Department of Commerce first appealed the approval during the Dayton administration. Environmental and Indigenous groups had urged the Walz administration to join them and file a new appeal, but business groups, labor unions and northern Minnesota local officials urged the administration to allow the project to move forward.

Enbridge officials are disappointed that the Walz administration is continuing to fight the project, a company spokeswoman said.

This comes as Senate Republicans prepare to grill two more high-profile members of the Walz administration.

Commerce Commissioner Steve Kelley will testify on Friday, and Pollution Control Commissioner Laura Bishop will testify Monday. The Senate GOP fired Labor Commissioner Nancy Leppink last week. Kelley and Bishop are now in the senate's political crosshairs partly due to their roles in Line 3 delays.