Canada approves contentious expansion of crude oil pipeline

Canada has once again approved a contentious pipeline expansion that would allow the nation to diversify oil markets. The new pipeline has drawn criticism from environmental groups who fear spills.

Canada has again approved a controversial expansion to the Trans Mountain oil crude pipeline, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday.

The pipeline expansion would nearly triple its capacity from 300,000 to 890,000 barrels per day. The pipeline will ship crude from the landlocked Canadian province of Alberta to British Colombia on the west coast.

Trudeau told a news conference that construction on the pipeline expansion is scheduled to resume this year, but the new plans is expected to face a legal challenge from environmental groups.

Ottawa previously approved expansion of the pipeline in 2016, but the decision was overturned last year after a court ruled that the original study lacked adequate consultations with First Nations peoples.

In an effort to salvage the project, the Canadian government purchased the pipeline, which has been in use since 1953, for 4.4 billion Canadian dollars ($3.3 billion, €2.9 billion) from Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd. last August.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the pipeline would eventually be sold once it becomes commercially viable.


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