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Enbridge holds pipeline hearings

Enbridge Energy’s proposal to expand the capacity of its Alberta Clipper pipeline is being met with support and opposition at public hearings in the region.

The company is holding meetings in northwestern Minnesota to address concern about the proposal that would increase capacity of the pipeline by 40 percent.

The Alberta Clipper pipeline was built four years ago and stretches from Edmonton, Alta., to Superior, Wis., crossing all of northern Minnesota. Enbridge has proposed increasing the volume of oil pushed through the pipeline.

Andy Pearson is representing the environmental group Minnesota 350. His message at hearings is, “What’s in it for Minnesota?”

Red Lake County Commissioner John Lerohl came to a hearing in Thief River Falls to support Enbridge.

“We think they do a good job, and it’s the safest way of transporting oil,” he said.

Environmentalists seemed optimistic that since the extra oil is proposed to be exported, it might not be successful with regulators.

“The department of commerce submitted testimony that us shown that this increase should help their export business, but they have not shown it would help it would help the region. And they have to show that in order to get the go ahead from the public utilities commission,” Pearson said.

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