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Leaders in Superior, Duluth support new oil pipeline

SUPERIOR, Wis (WSAU-Wheeler News)  The mayors of Superior and Duluth will express their support today for new-and-expanded oil pipelines from Canada to northwest Wisconsin. Superior Mayor Bruce Hagen and Duluth Mayor Don Ness have scheduled a news conference this morning to explain their support for Enbridge Energy's multi-million-dollar projects.

Ness says pipelines are the safest and most responsible way to transport crude oil -- which flows into a major hub of storage facilities in Superior that create about 750 jobs and $62-million for the local economy each year. The projects' opponents say the oil comes from heavy tar sands -- and it needs more energy to refine, thus creating more carbon dioxide pollution. Enbridge plans to build a new pipeline, the Sandpiper, from North Dakota's oil fields to Superior. An aging pipeline would be replaced from northwestern Canada to Superior, with double the oil capacity. Those two projects would cost almost $10-billion.

Enbridge is also seeking approvals to add 800,000 more barrels a day to its existing Alberta Clipper pipeline from southern Canada to Wisconsin. Minnesota utility regulators are holding public hearings on the Clipper project this week.