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VIEW: ‘The Northern Gateway pipeline is dead’, says Jeffrey Simpson

Globe and Mail columnist Jeffrey Simpson writes, “The Northern Gateway pipeline that Enbridge proposes to build from Alberta’s bitumen oil to the Pacific coast of British Columbia is, for all intents and purposes, dead. …Bitumen oil to Asia through northern B.C. just ain’t going to happen. …It has too many obstacles now, and there’ll be more in the future. …The Harper Conservatives can steamroller the federal NDP in Parliament, but they can’t so easily steamroller the B.C. government and public opinion.”

He lists the obstacles as:

  • the more British Columbians know about the project, the less they like it, starting with the reasonable question: Why should B.C. take most of the environmental risks for so little actual gain?
  • the opposition of the current Liberal provincial government and the NDP government likely to replace it next year
  • the unanimous opposition of environmentalists
  • Enbridge’s embarrassing pipeline spills
  • considerable opposition from at least some of the aboriginal groups along the route
  • the likelihood of prolonged court battles (where aboriginal groups arguing that their constitutional right to be consulted on lands they claim to be theirs was not respected, a precept articulated by the Supreme Court of Canada).

Simpson does seeminly caution though, “The diminished prospects for Gateway make it somewhat more attractive building further pipeline capacity down the Fraser River to the Lower Mainland, where the Kinder Morgan-owned Trans Mountain pipeline already runs. …Shipping more oil to Eastern Canada seems to be the easiest option politically of all.”

His column can be read at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/you-heard-it-here-northern-gateways-dead/article4589760/.