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House blocks bill to bar state's Line 3 pipeline appeals

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A new section of pipeline sits across the street from a farm.
A new section of Enbridge's Line 3 pipeline sits in the ground across the street from a farm in September 2017 south of Superior, Wisc.
Derek Montgomery for MPR News 2017

Just as quickly as the Minnesota Senate passed it, the state House shot down legislation to force the state Commerce Department to drop its appeals of a regulatory panel's approval of Enbridge Energy's hotly disputed plan to replace its aging Line 3 crude oil pipeline across northern Minnesota.

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The Public Utilities Commission gave its final reaffirmation to the project Tuesday. Gov. Tim Walz said his administration would study the decision before deciding its next steps.

The GOP-controlled Senate voted 34-30 along party lines Thursday to prohibit the Commerce Department from spending money on further appeals. Some Democrats who strongly support Line 3 said they voted no anyway because the ban would set a bad precedent.

But hours later the Democratic-controlled House voted 75-51 to table the bill, blocking further consideration.