Enbridge wins Minnesota OK for oil pipeline

Minnesota regulators have approved an oil pipeline project for northern Minnesota.

The decision allows Enbridge to increase the Alberta Clipper pipeline's capacity to 800,000 barrels per day. The project includes building four new pump stations but does not involve laying new pipeline.

Environmental groups had urged the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to deny Enbridge a certificate of need, saying the increased capacity isn't needed to meet energy demands. Opponents also argued the crude oil the pipeline carries from Canada's oil sands contributes to climate change.

The commission heard several hours of debate but eventually approved the expansion project, and Enbridge says it will begin construction this fall.

The project still needs federal environmental review and State Department approval because it crosses a U.S. border.

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