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House speaker wants outside audit on Sandpiper pipeline project emails

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Daudt has asked the legislative auditor to do a separate investigation of Minnesota Pollution Control Agency activity on the Sandpiper oil pipeline project.

Daudt says news reports on an agency employee’s seemingly slanted emails to groups fighting the project raise bigger doubts about impartiality about the regulatory review for Enbridge Energy’s proposed pipeline to carry crude oil from North Dakota to Wisconsin. The state Capitol’s top Republican wrote Legislative Auditor Jim Nobles on Friday to seek a review beyond the one Gov. Mark Dayton says his administration will conduct.

Nobles said his office would begin a preliminary review before deciding on a full investigation.

Daudt says the public and lawmakers need to know if state resources were misused, if information was improperly disseminated and whether the Sandpiper and other projects are getting a fair shake.

In related news, Pollution-control employee investigated over seemingly biased e-mails on Sandpiper oil pipeline.

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