Since the beginning of this year we have been fighting an ever-changing battle to protect our families, our neighbors and our communities at large. Our foe in this battle is a virus. A virus we knew little about, a virus that was hard to predict and it has proven to be a formidable opponent. Being a part of a struggle like this has been scary. It has created great suffering; yet at times it has brought us together as a people.
On a local level, I must express pride that we have leaders such as Gov. Walz who have helped us face this challenge. He has led us in facing this foe honestly, with clear eyes and with an underlying belief that our actions in this battle will be based on science and the common good.
While I feel pride in Gov. Walz’s decision making in regard to COVID-19, I feel frustration and anger over recent decisions he and his administration have made in regard to Line 3.
As a candidate and as governor, Walz has talked about the need to act boldly on the climate crisis. He has also often talked about the need to respect, honor and protect our indigenous neighbors. In spite of this expressed commitment, the Walz administration (along with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency) grant ed Enbridge Inc. their long sought after permits to begin construction on Line 3. This decision flies in the face of climate science and long-term health of our communities and planet.
It also is another clear reminder that money talks and talks louder than the needs of the indigenous communities that will be put at risk for the benefit of a corporation to make money on the sale of fossil fuels. In that regard, the long-standing tradition of broken promises to our indigenous neighbors continues.
So what next? This reminds me that the world is gray and even those leaders we support make bad decisions. Unfortunately for us all Gov. Walz made the wrong and likely devastating decision to allow Line 3 to move forward. It also reminds me that in this and all areas true change will come from the ground up. When our leaders fall short, when our leaders ignore science and the well-being of our fellow citizens WE must act.
No doubt the actions of the Walz administration are a huge step back in the fight against Line 3. That said, the battle is not over. We all must rise, we all must push back. When we make our voices heard, when we follow the science to make decisions and when we put people first we will prevail. Hopefully then, our leaders like Gov. Walz will come along with us.
St. Anthony Park