Skip to main content

Judge backs expansion of pipeline carrying Canadian oil through Minnesota

  • Author:
  • Updated:

A judge who studied the proposed expansion of an oil pipeline that runs across northern Minnesota is advising state regulators to approve the project.

Administrative law judge Eric Lipman released his finding of fact and recommendation to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission Thursday.

Enbridge Energy wants to expand its Alberta Clipper pipeline that carries crude oil from the Canadian tar sands to a refinery in Superior, Wisconsin. Judge Lipman writes that Enbridge demonstrated the need for the expansion.

As the Associated Press reports, some critics of the expansion argue it will fuel climate change because oil is extracted from the tar sands through an energy-intensive process that generates greenhouse gases.

But Lipman writes that no one has offered a better alternative for providing a steady supply of petroleum.

The Star Tribune reports the $160 million expansion would increase the pipeline's capacity by 40 percent, allowing it to carry 800,000 barrels of oil per day. The entire line is 1,000 miles long with 285 miles passing through Minnesota.

Enbridge says the expansion would be accomplished by adding pumping stations and modifying existing ones, without laying any new pipeline.

The Alberta Clipper, which Enbridge calls Line 67, has already been expanded once using the same technique. If the second expansion is approved, it would bring the line to its maximum capacity.

The Alberta Clipper project is part of a series of expansions Enbridge is planning.

It is separate from Enbridge's proposed $2.5 billion pipeline that would carry oil from North Dakota to the refinery in Superior.

Next Up

Hopkins Basketball

Hopkins suffers rare loss to No. 1 ranked Sidwell Friends

The Royals held their own in a battle of the nation's best.

argue-wertman booking photos

Charges: 2 teens responsible for violent carjacking spree across Twin Cities

They face a combined 31 felony counts, all tied to carjackings and related crimes.

rep nolan west mn house

MN rep. says he was 'assaulted' at activist group's public meeting

The Republican said a man grabbed his arms and yanked him from the room.

Screen Shot 2022-01-20 at 12.56.52 PM

What were the 'bizarre things' seen in Minnesota's sky?

The mysterious streaks were not UFOs and they weren't pieces of an asteroid.

icicles, freezing weather, cold weather

Booming noises in the night could be frost quakes

The loud sounds are most likely to happen during the middle of the night.

coronavirus, coronavirus test, covid-19

Free COVID testing site to open in St. Paul for 3 weeks

The federal testing site comes as demand for testing remains high.

Reyel Simmons photo 1 - complaint - crop

MN TikToker accused of faking federal agent life pleads guilty

He told his 10,000 followers he was a Homeland Security agent — authorities say it was a lie.


Report: Vikings request second interview with 2 GM candidates

Ryan Poles of the Chiefs and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah of the Browns.

Amaya Battle

Hopkins takes on No. 1 team in the country on ESPNU Friday

The game will feature a pair of top recruits in the Class of 2022.

st. paul federation of educators - teachers

Educators in Minneapolis, St. Paul could strike amid contract negotiations

Teachers and support staff are demanding smaller class sizes, mental health support and better pay.

turtinen two harbors

MN mayor in hot water for hawking $400M underwater hotel plan

The city council called a special meeting to discuss the mayor's public comments.