The Minnesota Supreme Court denied an appeal filed by opponents of Enbridge's Line 3 oil pipeline, upholding a lower court's decision that affirmed regulators' approval of the project.
The court on Tuesday, Aug. 24, declined to hear a challenge filed by environmental groups and Indigenous bands asking the state's highest court to reverse the Court of Appeals' 2-1 decision in June that said Enbridge pipeline demonstrated a sufficient need to build a replacement line.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce had joined the groups and bands in filing the original appeal to the Court of Appeals, arguing the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission relied on the incorrect demand forecast, but chose not to continue its appeal to the Supreme Court after June's Court of Appeals' decision.
Enbridge said it was "pleased" with the decision.
Winona LaDuke, executive director of Honor the Earth, an Indigenous-led environmental group opposed to Line 3, said the Supreme Court's decision made for "a sad day for Minnesota."
The 340-mile pipeline across northern Minnesota is more than 80% complete and is expected to be in service this year. Once complete, the new pipeline will carry 760,000 barrels of oil per day from Alberta, Canada, to Enbridge's terminal in Superior, Wisconsin. The new lines in North Dakota, Canada and Wisconsin are already complete.