Canada imposes further delays on two major pipeline projects
By Randall Palmer and Leah Schnurr
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada announced new interim rules on Wednesday for environmental reviews that will impose delays on two projects - TransCanada Corp's Energy East pipeline and Kinder Morgan Inc's expansion of its Trans Mountain Pipeline.
The Liberal government issued the rules on the grounds that public trust needed to be restored in the process for assessing big energy projects.
Proponents say that after U.S. President Barack Obama's denial of the Keystone XL pipeline, all-Canadian projects are needed so the country's oil can reach its east and west coasts and fetch higher prices abroad.
"All we're saying here is that Canadians deserve to have trust in their environmental assessment process or else no projects will go ahead," Environment Minister Catherine McKenna told a news conference.
"That doesn't mean that no project is going to go ahead, it just means we have to do a proper review because this is the 21st century and that is the way you get resources to market."
The rules are designed to take greater account of environmental impacts and indigenous groups' view for the two pipelines, which are opposed by environmentalists and some communities but backed by industry.
McKenna also said the government would separately calculate direct and upstream greenhouse gas emissions linked to the projects.
She declined to explain how much weight would be given to the climate change effects, saying there would be no maximum fixed for each project, and she said it would only be one of many factors the government would take into account in determining whether a project was in the national interest. Continued...