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NEWS: Decision on Northern Gateway pipeline may be delayed by a year

The Calgary Herald reports, “The joint review panel hearing submissions on the controversial Northern Gateway oil pipeline to the B.C. coast will take a year longer than expected to deliver its final report. In a projected schedule released late Tuesday, the three-member panel said it ‘would anticipate releasing the environmental assessment report in the fall of 2013 and its final decision on the project around the end of 2013.'”

The federal review of the project was expected to be completed by the fall of 2012, with construction to begin in 2013, and the bitumen and condensate projected to flow by 2016-17. “Paul Stanway, communications manager for Enbridge Northern Gateway, didn’t address a question on whether the year-long regulatory delay would push back the pipeline’s in-service target previously forecast for 2017.”

Two weeks ago, the Globe and Mail reported, “Observers argue (that the Northern Gateway, Keystone XL, and Trans Mountain pipelines) are needed to keep up with Canada’s forecast production growth in the oil sands. Blocking one or more means bitumen production will have to slow because existing pipelines will be full by 2015.” The Calgary Herald article also notes, “Earlier Tuesday, federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said in an interview that the ‘nation-building’ attempt to link Canada’s vast oilsands resources to Asian markets can’t be stopped by protesters using civil disobedience. He said he will respect the regulatory process that Enbridge must go through to get approval but said the project, if approved by the joint panel of Environment Canada and the National Energy Board, shouldn’t be held hostage by aboriginal and environmental groups threatening to create a human ‘wall’ to prevent construction.”

For Council of Canadians blogs in opposition to the Northern Gateway pipeline, please see http://canadians.org/blog/?s=%22northern+gateway%22. More soon.