Indian band nixes Enbridge oil pipeline

Jan. 19, 2012 at 9:41 AM
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CALGARY, Alberta, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- A band of Indians in British Columbia has backed out of a deal to allow the Enbridge energy company to build an oil pipeline through its territory.

From its headquarters in Calgary, Alberta, the company acknowledged the Gitxsan band had backed out of a deal forged last month that would have seen the band receive at least $7 million in profits on a 30-year lease, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Band negotiator Elmer Derrick struck the deal with Enbridge but other tribal leaders overruled it Tuesday night by a 28-8 vote, the Vancouver Sun reported.

Enbridge spokesman Paul Stanway said the company would return to negotiations with the Gitxsan.

"In the meantime, we will also continue to work and engage with corridor first nations [Indian] groups, including the more than 20 groups who in recent weeks have fully executed and endorsed equity participation agreements deals with Enbridge," he said.

It was a bad news day for Canadian pipeline companies all around. U.S. President Barack Obama shot down a TransCanada Pipeline project running south through six states to Gulf of Mexico refineries. The second pipeline project of Enbridge's Northern Gateway plan is mapped to run west from Alberta oil sands through British Columbia for shipping export to Asia.

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