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article imageCanadian regulators OK pipeline through native lands amid protest

By Justin King     Dec 21, 2013 in World
Toronto - A regulatory panel recommended the government approve pipeline construction through lands held by native peoples. Canada’s three-person panel said the potential $6.5 billion revenue outweighed environmental concerns and native property rights.
Native opposition to the Northern Gateway pipeline has been fierce because the proposed Enbridge pipeline runs through lands held by the Haisla First Nation. The Haisla worry that the pipeline will be detrimental to their community of 1,500 and the wildlife the tribe has depended on since before Europeans arrived in the New World. Speaking to the regulatory panel in 2012, Chief Sam Robinson said:
It worries me to think that all of these will be lost and destroyed when there is a spill - mark my words - when there is a spill. Experience shows it will happen,
The panel recommending approval of the pipeline did stipulate over 200 conditions, addressing environmental, technical, insurance, and security concerns. One of the conditions is that Enbridge obtain a $950-million insurance policy for use in the event that Chief Robinson’s prediction comes true. The route change hoped for by the natives was not part of the recommendations.
The undeveloped area in the Northwest region of the country is particularly sensitive to the threat of oil spill, as it was effected by the Exxon Valdez disaster. However, the economic benefits of opening up Asian markets to Canadian oil are influencing the Canadian government’s decision process.
The ultimate decision on the approximately 730-mile (1,700km) pipeline will be issued by the Canadian cabinet within the next 180 days. Prime Minister Steve Harper’s government has been extremely supportive of Enbridge’s pipeline proposals, including this project and the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, and the cabinet is expected to approve the proposal.
The Enbridge Northern Gateway Project involves a new twin pipeline system running from near Edmonton...
The Enbridge Northern Gateway Project involves a new twin pipeline system running from near Edmonton, Alberta, to a new marine terminal in Kitimat, British Columbia
Enbridge
Greenpeace protesters oppose Enbridge pipelines that would ship tar sands oil to the northern BC coa...
Greenpeace protesters oppose Enbridge pipelines that would ship tar sands oil to the northern BC coast and to support a ban on oil tanker traffic on the northern BC coast
Greenpeace
Greenpeace protesters oppose Enbridge s Northern Gateway pipelines that would ship tar sands oil to ...
Greenpeace protesters oppose Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipelines that would ship tar sands oil to the northern BC coast and to support a ban on oil tanker traffic on the northern BC coast
Greenpeace
The worst Alberta oil spill in 35 years dumped about 4.5 million litres of oil into a wetland area a...
The worst Alberta oil spill in 35 years dumped about 4.5 million litres of oil into a wetland area at Evi, Alberta, on May 5, 2011.
Rogu Collecti / Greenpeace
More about Pipeline, northern gateway, Enbridge, Native american, first peoples
 
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