Minn. oil pipeline fight stokes threats, fears of Standing Rock

Each day for decades, five pipelines have quietly pumped more than 2 million barrels of Canadian crude oil below northern Minnesota’s forests, lakes and rivers to refineries around the Upper Midwest.It’s a network that for years saw little public scrutiny. The lines were built in an era with no federal environmental law requiring studies or public hearings, keeping opposition to a minimum.

Those days are gone, replaced by a massive multi-year permitting process that requires transparency and public input — and an environmental movement determined to make its voice heard.
That was never clearer than last year when what began as a small protest over the route of an oil pipeline near North Dakota’s Standing Rock Reservation mushroomed into a monthslong international incident.

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