Protesters rally outside hearing for proposed Enbridge pipeline

Hundreds of people are fighting for and against a proposed oil pipeline that could run through Minnesota.

Enbridge Energy's Line 3 would replace an existing pipeline that stretches from Canada to Wisconsin. If approved, that line would cross through Minnesota.

Protestors gathered at the Capitol before marching to the Public Utilities Commission where a public hearing was also going on.

Organizers of the protest argue the pipeline would jeopardize the state's water and land. David Johnson lives in Carlton County on a piece of property he says has been targeted for the Enbridge pipeline.

"I'll fight it all the way,” said Johnson. “It's beautiful, pristine land up there and to go in there with all those machines and cut down those trees and threaten the only clean water we have in Minnesota for industry that's dying is ridiculous."

State Representative Jamie Becker-Finn says it's not if, but when the pipeline will leak.

"The thing that I am most concerned about is maintaining our clean water for future generations," said Becker-Finn.

A spokesperson for Enbridge, Shannon Gustafson, says the pipeline project would help reduce potential future maintenance on the line and would be a delivery source of oil to North American markets.

“It’s important to remember that the $2.9 billion replacement of Line 3 is about pipeline safety and maintenance,” said Gustafson in a statement. “It is critical energy infrastructure relied upon by shippers and millions of customers in Minnesota and the Midwest.”

Regulators will likely make a decision on the project by April 2018.