The Enbridge pipeline: Northern Gateway to what?

By Chris Genovali, Special to The Vancouver Sun August 12, 2011

Conflating the interests of the shareholders and investors of energy giants such as Enbridge with those of the Canadian people has become the central talking point for the promoters of Alberta’s tar sands. That deliberate conflation is all about generating public support for the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project, which would see a twinned pipeline constructed from the tar sands to British Columbia and then the subsequent transport of what many have called “the world’s dirtiest oil” by supertanker from B.C.’s north coast to offshore markets.

Echoing Enbridge CEO Patrick Daniel, federal Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver has asserted that Northern Gateway is in the “national interest.”

Oliver’s pronouncement serves to placate Alberta Energy minister Ron Liepert’s call for the Canadian government to “expedite” approval of the Enbridge proposal. Even more concerning than mollifying Liepert’s stridency, Minister Oliver’s endorsement, intended or not, serves to undermine the National Energy Board’s assessment process and the federal Joint Review Panel hearings on the highly controversial project before they have even commenced.

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