September 28, 2017 06:20 PM
The multi-year approval process for a new oil pipeline from Canada to Superior, Wisconsin is nearing a key decision in Minnesota.
Although the pipeline delivers oil from Canada to Wisconsin, 340 miles of it will run diagonally across part of northern Minnesota, going through some sensitive environmental areas.
"Our priority is protecting clean water for future generations," said Rep. Jamie Becker Finn, DFL-Roseville, who works with a coalition of environmental groups opposing the oil pipeline.
"We know that pipelines leak. I mean that is a fact. We've seen it happen in Kalmazoo (Michigan), we've seen it happen in Iowa, we see it with the current (Enbridge) Line 3.
Environmental groups say instead of investing billions of dollars in oil pipelines, Enbridge should be focusing on renewable energy sources.
A spokeswoman for Enbridge said the company believes renewable energy is the future, but it won't happen overnight. In the meantime, there has to be safe and efficient oil pipelines.
"We are trying to replace a pipeline that was built in the late 1960s with a pipeline that would have newer, safer steel," Lorraine Little of Enbridge said.
Little said the pipeline will not only be safer, but more efficient.
An administrative law judge held two hearings on the issue Thursday in downtown St. Paul.
She will make a recommendation to the Minnesota Public Utilities, which is expected to make a final ruling in 2018.
About 300 protesters tried to focus public attention on the issue by rallying at the State Capitol, then marching to the hearing downtown.
Updated: September 28, 2017 06:20 PM
Created: September 28, 2017 05:59 PM
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