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Canada Approves “Backup” Pipeline to Keystone XL

The New York Times reports that “the Canadian government’s approval of a major pipeline running from the Alberta oil sands to a new port on the coast of British Columbia has intensified opposition from aboriginal groups, environmentalists and community advocates.”  

“The Northern Gateway project, which the government approved on Tuesday as expected, would send heavy, oil-bearing bitumen to Asia, giving Canadian producers better access to the world markets. The pipeline, being built by Enbridge, has been championed by the federal government as a way to diversify Canada’s energy industry from its current dependence on exports to the United States.”  

The piece continues: “Northern Gateway has become something of backup for Canada, as approval for the Keystone XL pipeline remains mired in Washington. If built, Northern Gateway would ship about 500,000 barrels of bitumen a day to the coast compared with the 700,000-barrel-a-day capacity of Keystone XL, which would take oil sands production to the Gulf Coast of the United States. When Northern Gateway is combined with the country’s other pipeline plans, Canada could expand shipments from the oil sands by three million barrels a day.”