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First Nation tribes in Canada secured a court victory against oil major Enbridge’s plan to build a pipeline transporting crude from Alberta to British Columbia, according to a report by Grist.
The company had been granted government approval for the US$7.9 billion project, but the court ruled on Wednesday that regulators failed to consult with First Nation tribes while mapping out the route of the pipeline, “affecting their subsistence and well-being, entirely ignored.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau criticized the Northern Gateway pipeline while running for his current position.
"On the Northern Gateway pipeline, I've said many times, the Great Bear Rainforest is no place for a crude oil pipeline," Trudeau told reporters in Montreal on Tuesday, after the court revealed its verdict.
Calgary-based Enbridge said it remains "fully committed" to completing the pipeline as it works with partners to determine the next steps.
Canada produces 2.3 million barrels of crude oil from tar sands every day, but the rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline by U.S. President Barack Obama and the shutdown of the Northern Gateway line could lead oil and gas firms to abandon disconnected projects.
Two other pipeline projects – the TransMountain pipeline extension through British Columbia and the Energy East line through New Brunswick – have yet to begin construction. First Nation and environmental activists have vowed to demonstrate their opposition to both initiatives.
The TransMountain extension lies close a tributary river for the Fraser River – the most productive salmon-bearing stream on Earth, according to the native Canadians.
TransCanada’s Energy East line would connect crude from Alberta and Saskatchewan to refineries in Eastern Canada at a rate of 1.1 million bpd.
By Zainab Calcuttawala of Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…