Canada gets tough with Northern Gateway

Aug. 9, 2012 at 8:27 AM
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CALGARY, Alberta, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- A Canadian energy director said he'd take "any measure" to ensure a timeline for the planned Northern Gateway oil pipeline is met.

The Canadian government this week set a Dec. 31, 2013, deadline for Enbridge to deliver an assessment on the proposed Northern Gateway oil pipeline.

The National Energy Board, in a letter to Enbridge, said it was imposing the deadline to meet national laws and budgets enacted this year by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Enbridge aims to build the $6 billion pipeline from oil sands projects in Alberta to ports in British Columbia for delivery to Asian markets.

National Energy Board Chairman Gaetan Caron, in a letter to the three-member review panel for the Northern Gateway pipeline, expressed his commitment to the 2013 deadline.

"I wish to bring to your attention that, if the minister of the environment and I are of the opinion that the time limit is not likely to be met, then I may, under (NEB legislation), take any measure I consider appropriate to ensure the time limit is met," his letter read.

A June letter from the panel stated that "less time and fewer hearing days" were needed for the pipeline's review.

Aboriginal communities along the western Canadian coast have expressed concern about the project. The safety record for Enbridge was tarnished by a 2010 oil pipeline rupture in Michigan, the costliest onshore spill in U.S. history, and a July spill in Wisconsin.

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