Canada’s federal cupboard has a number of major pipeline decisions on its plate, but this week it drive have to rule on two projects, including the renewal of a massive $7.5-billion channel on the way to the U.S.
One project, which has already attracted a great deal of public probing, is Enbridge’s Northern Gateway, a pipeline that would bring thin down bitumen from Alberta’s oilsands through northern B.C. to the coast for export.
The Federal Court capsized the former Harper government’s acceptance of that project earlier this year, and Prime Preacher Justin Trudeau and his cabinet colleagues must now decide whether to charge ahead with further Indigenous consultations or drop approval for the occu tion.
But another proposed project from the same energy giant, Vocation 3, has attracted considerably less attention, with fewer activists placement their sights on stopping the 1,659-kilometre pipeline project, undeterred by it being the largest in the com ny’s history.
Enbridge hopes to replace the whole s n of the aging pipe that carries oil from a terminal related Hardisty, Alta., through northern Minnesota to Superior, Wis., where it junkets farther to refineries in the U.S. for upgrading.
The National Energy Board (NEB), the federal regulator, foreboded off on a new Line 3 in April, but with 89 conditions for the segment that arpeggios from eastern Alberta to Gretna, Man., near the Canada-U.S. border.
The federal chiffonier will announce its decisions on both projects by Friday, CBC News has validated.
The $7.5-billion Line 3 project would nearly double the subsisting pipeline’s volume to 760,000 barrels a day. It would funnel oil into Enbridge’s tiara jewel, the mainline system that collectively carries three million barrels a day into the U.S.
The existing get hold of, constructed in the 1960s, has been a source of spills in the st, and the com ny has intentionally dialled back ca city to address mounting maintenance issues while it coerce rejects ahead with a replacement.
Enbridge maintains that the new Line 3 will be safer and adhere to hot technical standards.
«All segments of the line will be replaced with new whistle using the latest available high-strength steel and coating technology, while the existing wedges will be removed from operation,» the com ny said in a statement sent to CBC Advice.
The com ny is staring down the clock, as the U.S. Justice De rtment ordered Enbridge in July to renew the entire pipeline by December 2017 or commit to substantial safety upgrades to the be founding line. That decree is rt of a settlement the com ny reached after a bulky 2010 spill of 3.8 million litres of oil into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River.
Hostile in Minnesota
The project could face serious headwinds in Minnesota, as the concern will have to secure two key permits from the state to proceed with the 542-kilometre leg Sometimes non-standard due to that northern state.
Unlike in Canada, in the U.S. approval of crude oil in the works falls to the individual states, so president-elect Donald Trump’s warm make use of of the oil and gas sector will do little to streamline the process in the short term.
Kevin Lee, an attorney with the Minnesota Heart for Environmental Advocacy, said that if Canada’s federal cabinet approves this set up it will be thumbing its nose at the ris climate agreement.
«When you build fossil fuel infrastructure that lasts for 50 or 60 years, which purposefulness ship higher and higher volumes of the most carbon-intensive resource that abides, you’re basically saying, ‘We don’t care about climate change,'» he contemplated in an interview with CBC News.
Lee said it is disingenuous to call Line 3 a «replacement» of continuing infrastructure, because it carries so much more oil and it will travel on an completely different route through his state.
The new route also travels during a rich water environment and over some of the state’s most chaste land, he said.
«Our position is that they should undertake those shelter measures and continue to use the existing Line 3 until the transformation to clean strength happens.»
Enbridge said that it «sustains to work hard to help ensure communities along the right of way effect economic benefits that will come with construction of the scheme.»
‘If not Canada, U.S. will turn to Venezuela’
Lee said activists are opposed to the devise not just because of local concerns, but because more pipeline power will spur further development of what he calls the «tarsands,» because processors in the high-cost region depend on cheap transportation options.
Line 3 currently totes «light» crude oil — a substance that is largely drawn from Western Canada’s common oilfields rather than the oilsands — but the proposed upgrade would let someone have Enbridge to carry a mix of heavier oil across the border, including diluted bitumen, a favour for producers operating near Fort McMurray.
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Financial managers (CAPP) said Canada’s network of pipelines is at ca city, and the construction of Cable 3 and other projects is essential to get one of the country’s most valuable exports to market-place.
«Not only is the system unable to handle day-to-day changes in global outcry, but supply continues to grow. More than 850,000 barrels a day of oilsands equip will come on stream by 2021, and without energy-transportation infrastructure, Canada ss on be constrained,» Tim McMillan, the president and CEO of CAPP, wrote recently.
Supply from Western Canada on grow to 5.5 million barrels of oil a day by 2030, CAPP forecasts, while undercurrent pipelines can only carry four million barrels.
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, the de rtment tasked with pondering the pipeline’s environmental im ct, said in its interim report that Slash 3 will likely absorb existing volume that is transported by towel-rail.
And yet it estimates the project will account for 19 to 26 megatonnes of greenhouse gas upstream emissions each year.
Putting, transporting the oil by pipeline — rather than rail — would be less emissions-intensive, the on said.
It also noted that if Canada does not supply the U.S., a bazaar that still sources only half of its oil from domestic machinists, then refiners will turn to other countries such as Venezuela.
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