ST. PAUL (AP) -- The Minnesota Court of Appeals has affirmed key approvals by state regulators of Enbridge Energy's Line 3 oil pipeline replacement project.

A three-judge panel ruled 2-1 on Monday that the Public Utilities Commission correctly granted Enbridge the certificate of need and route permit that the Canadian-based company needs for the Minnesota segment.

Enbridge wants to replace the 1960s-era pipeline because it has been deteriorating and can run at only half capacity.

Enbridge Line 3, photo by's Jim Maurice
Enbridge Line 3, photo by's Jim Maurice

More than 1,000 tribal and environmental activists gathered at construction sites near the headwaters of the Mississippi River last week to try to block the project.

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