Thousands fill downtown St. Paul to rally against proposed Sandpiper pipeline

Thousands of activists filled along the state capitol lawn to rally against pipeline and fossil fuel infrastructure projects that would accelerate development of the tar sands oil fields in Canada.

WHY: Minn. Regulators approved a certificate of need Friday for the Sandpiper from North Dakota's Bakken Oil fields to Superior, Wisc.

The hot topic was what else flows south, in this case, out of North Dakota and Canada.

Activists came to St. Paul from across the Midwest for one giant mega rally to oppose oil drilling and the tar sand fields of Canada, which they all say are doing a lot of damage.

"You're getting a dirty product, sacrificing the state of Minnesota as a byway to get a product from Canada to China. "Aaron Mair said.

Activists opposed the various pipelines that bring it into the United States across Minnesota; they also made a stop at Minnesota's public utilities commission to protest Friday's approval of the sandpiper pipeline out of the Bakken oil fields.

One of the pipelines activists oppose already exists, but the company that owns, Enbridge, wants to add capacity.

Calgary, Alberta-based Enbridge argued that Sandpiper is necessary to move the growing supply of North Dakota crude safely and efficiently market.

There's so much oil being found to the north, which is going to keep this as a hot topic for a while.

"Bringing in really toxic oil is a little bit suicidal it's kind of scary." Susu Jeffrey said.

The Sandpiper Pipeline being approved was only step one, the commission voted that the 610 mile pipeline is needed and in the public interest, the next step is to figure out where it should run, which could take a while.

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