St. Paul (Learfield News Service) - Enbridge executives say despite court challenges they expect the controversial Line 3 pipeline upgrade across northern Minnesota to be operational by the end of the year.

The Canadian oil company would likely begin work on the pipeline even though the case is still in court because it would be difficult for opponents to get a court order to halt construction. Winona LaDuke with Honor the Earth, one of the groups suing to stop the line, said, "this is not only an issue of no need in Minnesota -- eight percent drop in tar-sands production in Alberta -- but also climate catastrophe which is upon us." Earlier this week, Governor Walz decided to continue the state Commerce Department's legal challenge of Line 3.