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MINNEAPOLIS — Opponents of Enbridge Energy's proposed Line 3 crude oil pipeline replacement are turning their attention to fighting the project on other fronts as a Minnesota regulatory panel prepares to take one of its final steps to allow it to proceed.

The Public Utilities Commission on Thursday will discuss whether to reconsider its decision to approve a route permit for the line across northern Minnesota.

Environmental and tribal groups say they hold out little hope, given that the commission earlier this month unanimously rejected their petitions to reconsider the project's certificate of need.

So now the opponents are shifting their focus to the courts and preparing for demonstrations as construction preparations ramp up.

Enbridge wants to replace its existing Line 3 because it was built in the 1960s and is increasingly subject to cracking and corrosion.