Boudreau, Alta., – The NDP government has signed a $9 billion pipeline to ship oil from Alberta’s oilsands to the Pacific coast, after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government cancelled the $5.4-billion project in December.
The announcement was made Monday at a ceremony in Boudrie, Al., where B.C. Premier Christy Clark signed a bill that will create a new energy regulator for the province, which will be called the B.M.T.E. Regulatory Authority.
“Today is a great day for B.A. because this is the biggest and most complex project in the history of the BMTE and it is a massive undertaking,” Clark said.
“It is not just a pipeline.
It is a very complex pipeline.”
The announcement comes as the Canadian Union of Public Employees, the Canadian Oil Sands Association and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) have said they will not support the $9.8 billion project.
The B.P. Liberals have previously said they would support the project, and promised to have a new environmental assessment process completed by the end of the year.
Trudeau said Monday the pipeline will be built by Energy East, a subsidiary of Enbridge Inc., a company owned by Calgary-based Enbridge.
“I know it will be a huge economic benefit to the province and it will bring jobs to B.B.C.,” Trudeau said.
Enbridge has already begun constructing the Northern Gateway Pipeline, which would transport oil from the Bakken shale formation in North Dakota to Kitimat, B.N. “Our government will continue to work closely with the BMO Energy Canada, and other stakeholders in the pipeline debate, to secure an environmentally responsible outcome for this project,” Trudeau said in a statement.
“The B.O. government has also taken a number of steps to ensure the environment is protected, including setting up a new B.I.O.-led review of all environmental assessments.”
Enbridge, which is seeking a permit to start building the pipeline in mid-October, said it would review the environmental assessment and work with government officials to develop the best route for the pipeline.
“We’re confident we’ll get the green light to proceed with this pipeline,” Enbridge spokeswoman Laura McAllister said in an email.
“However, we have to be mindful of the environmental impact and the safety of all of our customers.”
The BMO report on Energy East said the pipeline could increase greenhouse gas emissions by about 15 per cent by 2030.
Enlink is currently operating the Northern Pipeline, a project that has also received opposition from the Boudrier family, which owns the Northern Oil Sands.