Canada regulator to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline to Pacific

September 22, 2018
Harriet Prince (R), 76, of the Anishinaabe tribe marches with Coast Salish Water Protectors and others against the expansion of Texas-based Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline project in Burnaby, British Columbia

The Canadian government on Friday ordered a new review of the Trans Mountain pipeline to the Pacific taking into account the impact of increased tanker traffic on endangered killer whales along the coast.

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi said the National Energy Board (NEB) will have 22 weeks to reassess the project, after the Federal Court of Appeal last month blocked it over concerns for the marine mammals.

He said new consultations with indigenous tribes along the pipeline route—another condition set by the court to get the project back on track—would come later.

"We are focused on getting this project right. We want to make sure that everything we do enables us to move forward on this project, which is very important project for Canada's economy," Sohi said.

Ottawa, he added, will ask the NEB to consider the government's new Can$1.5 billion oceans protections plan as part of its assessment.

The 1,150-kilometre (715-mile) pipeline was to move 890,000 barrels of oil a day from landlocked Alberta province to the Pacific coast for export overseas, replacing a smaller crumbling conduit built in 1953.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government approved the project in 2016 after an environmental review, saying it was in the "national interest" as it would help ease Canada's reliance on the US market, and get a better price for its crude oil.

But it has continued to face stiff opposition from environmentalist activists and indigenous tribes concerned that increased shipping from a marine terminal at the end of the route in Vancouver would impede the recovery of killer whale populations in the area.

Ottawa stepped in to buy the for Can$4.5 billion (US$3.5 billion) last month, effectively nationalising it in a bid to bring a swift end to legal challenges and illegal protests at construction sites.

Explore further: Alberta pulls out of carbon tax initiative after pipeline ruling

Related Stories

Pipeline derailed, so is Canada's climate strategy

September 5, 2018

A Canadian court has sparked the ire of the oil industry by suspending the expansion of a pipeline to the Pacific over environmental concerns—and dealt a huge blow to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's climate plan.

Canada govt steps in to buy controversial pipeline

May 29, 2018

Canada's government stepped in Tuesday to take over a controversial pipeline expansion project to ensure that it gets built in the face of stiff opposition from environmental activists and a regional government.

Support rises for controversial Canada pipeline

April 19, 2018

Support in Canada for a pipeline expansion to move oil to the Pacific coast for shipping to new markets overseas is rising, polling showed Wednesday as protests against it followed the prime minister to Britain.

Canadian provinces feud over Pacific pipeline project

February 9, 2018

A pipeline project aimed at boosting Canada's overseas oil sales and reducing reliance on US buyers has pitted two provincial governments against each other, sticking the prime minister in the middle.

Recommended for you

Evidence of earliest life on Earth disputed

October 17, 2018

When Australian scientists presented evidence in 2016 of life on Earth 3.7 billon years ago—pushing the record back 220 million years—it was a big deal, influencing even the search for life on Mars.

Arctic greening thaws permafrost, boosts runoff

October 17, 2018

A new collaborative study has investigated Arctic shrub-snow interactions to obtain a better understanding of the far north's tundra and vast permafrost system. Incorporating extensive in situ observations, Los Alamos National ...

Arctic ice sets speed limit for major ocean current

October 17, 2018

The Beaufort Gyre is an enormous, 600-mile-wide pool of swirling cold, fresh water in the Arctic Ocean, just north of Alaska and Canada. In the winter, this current is covered by a thick cap of ice. Each summer, as the ice ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.