NEB-Trans-Mountain, NewsAlert 2nd Writethru
Update:RECASTS with NEB ruling
HL:CP NewsAlert: NEB gives Trans Mountain pipeline expansion its endorsement
THE CANADIAN PRESS
CALGARY — The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline following a reconsideration of its impact on marine life off the B.C. coast.
The energy regulator says an increase in tanker traffic resulting from the pipeline would hurt southern resident killer whales and increase greenhouse gas emissions.
But it says the side effects can be justified in light of the “considerable benefits” of the project.
Alberta has been fighting hard for the Trans Mountain expansion so that the province could move more crude oil to ports and from there to lucrative overseas markets.
The energy board’s original approval of the project was set aside last summer by the Federal Court of Appeal, which said the regulator had not properly considered on marine life.
The NEB’s report starts the clock on a 90-day period for the federal government to decide whether the project should proceed.
Officials in Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi’s office have said a final decision won’t be made until consultations with affected Indigenous groups are complete.
The consultations were also an issue the federal Appeal Court raised when it put a halt on the project.