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Enbridge Oil-Sands Pipeline Moves Step Closer After Court Ruling

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(Bloomberg) -- Enbridge Inc.’s Line 3 oil pipeline, expected to be the first new cross-border oil-sands conduit built between Canada and the U.S. in years, received a boost after a Minnesota appeals court rejected a challenge to a water permit.

The ruling removes one more hurdle to completion of the 760,000-barrel-a-day pipe that will expand Canadian oil sands exports to the U.S. once the line goes into operation as early as next month.

The decision is “an important affirmation” of the state agency’s approval for the project, “confirming that wetlands and waterbodies are being appropriately protected during construction,” Michael Barnes, Enbridge spokesman, said in an email.

Canada’s oil-sands producers have struggled for years with a shortage of export pipelines as projects face increasing scrutiny from courts and regulators. U.S. President Joe Biden, on his first day in office, rescinded a permit for TC Energy Corp.’s Keystone XL project that would have helped increase shipments of Canadian crude to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Dear Bank CEO, You Are Cordially Invited to Defund This Pipeline

The Line 3 project has been fiercely opposed by some environmental and indigenous groups, who have staged protests this summer along the construction route. Enbridge spent years in court fights and regulatory battles to get the line built.

“It’s disappointing that the court will not hold MPCA accountable for their failure to protect our clean water,” Gabby Brown, a Sierra Club spokeswoman, said in an emailed statement.

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