Northern Gateway benefits debated

Sept. 7, 2012 at 6:44 AM

EDMONTON, Alberta, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- A labor leader in Canada questioned the economic benefits of the Northern Gateway pipeline as touted by experts working with pipeline company Enbridge.

The $6 billion Northern Gateway oil pipeline planned by Enbridge would move crude oil from tar sands projects in Alberta to ports in British Columbia for delivery to Asian markets.

Bob Mansell, an economist who testified as a witness for Enbridge before a joint review panel, said gasoline and other refinery costs could increase as a result of the pipeline but it's likely that the industry would absorb some of the costs, the Edmonton Journal reports.

Enbridge says Northern Gateway would net $20 more for a barrel of crude oil for producers of oil sands in the country.

Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labor, questioned the economic benefits of the project.

"They want Canadians to believe refiners will not pass the higher cost on to consumers," he told the Journal. "The net benefit to Canada is a house of cards."

Northern Gateway could deliver as much as 585,000 barrels of oil to Asian markets.

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