ST. PAUL (AP) - Protesters gathered at the Minnesota Capitol to oppose an amendment that would allow Enbridge Energy to bypass the Public Utilities Commission and proceed with building a replacement for its aging Line 3 oil pipeline.

Republican Rep. Pat Garofalo, of Farmington, plans to amend a jobs and energy bill being heard in the House Thursday. His amendment would remove regulatory hurdles and allow Enbridge to complete the $7.5 billion without further PUC approvals.

Opponents say the amendment would make it difficult for tribal groups and environmentalists to fight the pipeline. They object to the project because the pipeline would run from Alberta through environmentally sensitive areas of northern Minnesota to Superior, Wisconsin.

The project would replace an existing pipeline built in the 1960s that no longer runs at full capacity.