Minnesota Approves Enbridge Pipeline Replacement

The Commission Hasn't yet Taken up the Route
(Richard Tsong-Taatarii/Star Tribune via AP File)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota regulators have approved Enbridge Energy’s proposal for replacing its deteriorating Line 3 crude oil pipeline across northern Minnesota, but they haven’t yet settled on the route.

The Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously Thursday to grant a certificate of need for Enbridge.

The Calgary, Alberta-based company says the pipeline needs replacing for safety and reliability because its maintenance needs are accelerating.

The commission hasn’t yet taken up the route. The current route runs across two American Indian reservations whose tribes strongly oppose the project.

Line 3 was built in the 1960s. It runs from Alberta across North Dakota and Minnesota to Enbridge’s terminal in Superior, Wisconsin.

Climate change and tribal activists are fighting the project.

They note the new pipeline would carry Canadian tar sands oil and risk spills in areas of Minnesota where Native Americans harvest wild rice.

They’re expected to challenge the commission’s decision in court.

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