EXPLAINER: Why a rural pipeline is a climate battleground

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An oil pipeline that crosses rural northern Minnesota is an emerging focal point of the battle over climate change and energy production. Protesters are trying to halt work on a rebuild of Enbridge Energy’s Line 3. The pipeline carries oil from the Canadian province of Alberta. It clips a corner of North Dakota on its way across northern Minnesota to Enbridge’s terminal in Superior, Wisconsin. The company says the pipe is deteriorating and needs replacing. Critics contend any new or rebuilt pipeline delays an urgently needed transition away from fossil fuels. Enbridge plans to finish construction this year. Opponents pledge a “summer of resistance” on the ground and in court. 

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