Hundreds of religious leaders are opposing a proposed oil pipeline that would run across northern Minnesota.

Faith leaders say Enbridge Energy's proposed Line 3 project threatens Minnesota's climate, environment and the Native American tribe, Anishinaabe, Minnesota Public Radio reported . The Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light and the Minnesota Poor People's Campaign are leading the effort.

The groups plan to deliver a letter with their concerns this week to the state Public Utilities Commission and Gov. Mark Dayton. The letter said the company's pipelines have a history of spills and that the project would run through areas sacred to the tribe. The pipeline would also be an investment in fossil fuels when climate change is a concern, the letter said.

"At its core, this is a moral issue," the letter reads. "Many of us signing this letter come from Christian and other traditions that in recent years have taken formal positions acknowledging the role of our faith institutions in the mistreatment and deep trauma done to Indigenous peoples."

Enbridge said the line includes safer technology and that its pipelines built in the past decade haven't spilled. The existing pipe is corroding and cracking, and has led to a decrease in the amount of crude oil that can be transported from Alberta, Canada, the company said. The new line running from Canada to North Dakota, across Minnesota to Superior, Wisconsin, would allow capacity to return to original amounts.

"Our proposed route follows extensive study and is the result of significant input from stakeholders across Minnesota," Paul Eberth, Enbridge's Line 3 project director, said in a statement. "It acknowledges the legitimate concerns of Tribal Nations, it best protects the environment and it has the overwhelming support of communities."

The commission will hold hearings over whether to approve the Enbridge project later this month.


Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org