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While we’ve been having a big fight over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline down here in the US, Canada has also been debating a massive pipeline for exporting tar sands oil, the Northern Gateway. And on Friday, the government of British Columbia put the kibosh on that whole idea.
BC’s environment minister said Friday that Enbridge, the company seeking to build the pipeline, had not adequately answered the government’s questions about the project, and that there were still outstanding concerns about spill prevention and response. The CBC reports:
“British Columbia thoroughly reviewed all of the evidence and submissions made to the panel and asked substantive questions about the project, including its route, spill response capacity and financial structure to handle any incidents,” said Environment Minister Terry Lake.
“Our questions were not satisfactorily answered during these hearings.”
The Northern Gateway would have run from the heart of the tar sands in Alberta, through British Columbia, and to an export terminal in Kitimat. Anti-pipeline activists in the US are cheering BC’s Gateway decision as a win against tar sands development. 350.org founder Bill McKibben sent around a statement shortly after the announcement:
For years the tar sands promoters have said: ‘if we don’t build Keystone XL the tar sands will get out some other way.’ British Columbians just slammed the door on the most obvious other way, so now it’s up to President Obama. If he approves Keystone XL he bails out the Koch Brothers and other tar sands investors; if he rejects the pipeline, then an awful lot of that crude is going to stay in the ground where it belongs.
The BC government was quick to say, however, that this “is not a rejection of heavy-oil projects” in general—keeping open the possibility for another proposed pipeline, Kinder Morgan (which we also talked about here). Nevertheless, it certainly makes plans to export tar sands oil more complicated.
More here –