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Coming soon: Rivers of Oil, an MPR News podcast

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Rivers of Oil: MPR News podcast
Rivers of Oil: An MPR News podcast
MPR News

The battle over oil pipelines intensified a couple years ago with the protests at Standing Rock. For months, thousands of people demonstrated at the site of the Dakota Access oil pipeline construction project in North Dakota. 

And now, it's spreading.

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All over the country, people are moving to camps in the woods for months at a time. They're climbing trees. Chaining themselves to bulldozers.

And Minnesota is poised to be the next battleground. 

The Canadian company Enbridge wants to replace a nearly 50-year-old pipeline called Line 3. But opponents of the pipeline are already threatening major protests. 

Minnesota regulators are weighing now whether to let Enbridge replace its aging Line 3 pipeline with one that could carry about twice as much oil along a new route across the state. In June, the state Public Utilities Commission will decide whether to allow the process to go forward.

So what's going on? Why is there suddenly this dramatic conflict around pipelines? And is it really even about pipelines, at all?

In MPR News' new, five-part podcast, MPR News reporter Dan Kraker takes a look at those oil pipelines that flow beneath our feet. 

He'll explore how pipelines are now at the forefront of an epic tug of war between our reliance on oil and the risk that oil poses to the future of our planet — and how we all play a role in that story.

Related reading

Oil and water: The debate over Line 3  | Enbridge Energy's plan to replace its aging Line 3 pipeline is forcing state regulators to weigh the potential economic benefits to Minnesota against the environmental risks. Dig into our continuing coverage of the Line 3 debate.

Pipeline plan tests state's environmental-business balance  | State regulators are weighing whether to let Enbridge Energy build a new high-volume oil pipeline — a replacement to the existing Line 3 — across northern Minnesota. The company says the new line is vital to the nation's energy needs and will be strong and safe. Environmentalists say it's a disaster waiting to happen. Is there a middle ground?