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Group asks regulators to check Enbridge’s pipeline capacity

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — An environmental group is asking Minnesota utility regulators to investigate Enbridge’s additions to its existing oil-pipeline system, projects that could make the company’s new $2.6 billion pipeline unnecessary.

According to paperwork the Indigenous organization Honor the Earth filed with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, Enbridge made no mention of its capacity additions during hearings for the pipeline, which would replace the company’s Line 3 pipeline.

“It is difficult to see how (the new pipeline) is in the public interest in light of the apparent fact that Enbridge has already achieved capacity addition goals through other less impactful means,” Honor the Earth said in its filing, the Star Tribune reported.

Line 3 runs from Alberta, Canada, to Enbridge’s terminal in the city of Superior. Enbridge, of Calgary, has already replaced pipeline segments in Canada, North Dakota and Wisconsin. The company wants to replace the entire line, which was built in the 1960s, because its older sections are corroding, so the pipeline can run at only half its original capacity.

Enbridge said it has been adding capacity to its “mainline” throughout Minnesota.

“There have been several initiatives that Enbridge has implemented in recent years to optimize its pipeline network to better meet customer demands,” the company said in a statement. “We’ve talked about these optimizations and efficiency-led capacity increases in a variety of public forums.”

The PUC’s filing on Tuesday comes as the latest salvo in a six-year battle over the new pipeline.

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