OTTAWA – The province of British Columbia on Friday rejected a proposed pipeline to move crude from the oil sands of Alberta to the Pacific coast, citing environmental concerns.
In a written submission to a federal review panel, British Columbia said it could not support Enbridge Inc.’s Northern Gateway pipeline.
Key questions about the pipeline route and how Enbridge would respond to spills remained unanswered, the document read.
“Our government does not believe that a certificate should be granted before these important questions are answered,” provincial Environment Minister Terry Lake said in a statement.
The Northern Gateway pipeline would move oil from the tar sands of Alberta to a new marine terminal in Kitimat, British Columbia, for shipping to Asia.
Up to 220 supertankers a year would dock at Kitimat to fill up with crude, one report estimated.
Aboriginals and environmentalists oppose the terminal, say ing tanker traffic poses risks to a pristine coastline that includes salmon-bearing rivers and the habitat of rare white Kermode bears.
A panel reviewing the Northern Gateway project will wrap up hearings later this month, and a decision on the project is expected at the end of the year.
OPEC keeps ceiling
World oil prices fell sharply Friday after OPEC maintained its output ceiling.
In New York, WTI light sweet crude for delivery in July lost $1.64 to finish at $91.97 a barrel, under the $92 level for the first time since the beginning of May.
As expected, the Vienna meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries held the production ceiling of 30 million barrels a day, where it has stood since late 2011.
But the group’s confidence in its ability to hold prices where they are at that level of production was not clear.
The group made note of the impact on the global market of the rising production in North America due to oil and gas extracted from shale and Canada’s tar sands oil.