PELLA, Iowa -

Gov. Terry Branstad says he'll authorize the Iowa State Patrol to deal with protesters who could try to stop construction of a $3.8 billion oil pipeline.
    
The Des Moines Register reports Branstad told reporters at his weekly news conference, held this Monday in Pella, that the state patrol would ensure the safety of those building the pipeline, and that could helping local law enforcement respond to protests. The Iowa Utilities Board has approved construction of the pipeline, which will run 1,172 miles through Iowa, Illinois, North Dakota and South Dakota.
    
The route will cut through 18 Iowa counties.
    
Pipeline opponents have promised to engage in civil disobedience to stop the construction, but Branstad says they should accept the board's approval of the project and not break the law.