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Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to discuss northern Minnesota pipeline

State officials will continue the converstaion about Engridge Energy's plan to replace its aging Line 3 crude oil pipeline.

Posted: Mar. 25, 2019 10:54 PM

KIMT NEWS 3 - It's a plan that's caused a lot of back and forth in the state, replacing an aging crude oil pipeline across northern Minnesota.

Those who support the replacement say it's necessary. Critics say the line will remain a threat to the environment.

Enbridge Energy is the Canadian-based company behind it.

On Tuesday, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission will have a meeting to discuss the future impacts of the project.

The pipeline runs from Canada, across North Dakota and Minnesota, and ends in Wisconsin.

Even though it doesn't go across Southeastern Minnesota, one activist tells KIMT it will still have an impact on people in the area.

It was back in August 2018 when Kamau Wilkins was a part of a protest in Bemidji, opposing the plan to replace the pipeline by blocking a downtown intersection.

Just last week, he became the chair of the North Star Chapter Sierra Club, a group focused on protecting the environment.

He thinks if Enbridge Energy goes through with their plan, all Minnesotans will be impacted.

"What people really need to understand is that this affects our entire economy of Minnesota," Wilkins said. "It's not something that just affects, oh it's just the northern portion, or it's just a few lakes. It's 211 lakes and bodies of fresh water, so this affects a huge portion of our state."

Wilkins said it's about much more than just the pipeline, it's about getting away from fossil fuels.

"The demand for oil is the problem," Wilkins said.

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission meets Tuesday morning at 9:30 in St. Paul. There are two big agenda items concerning this project.

The doors open to public at 9:15 a.m.

Be sure to stay with KIMT News 3 for continuing coverage.

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