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Canada Takes Different Approach for Pipeline


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Most of TransCanada/ExxonMobil's proposed 1,717-mile natural gas pipeline from Alaska's North Slope would be built in Canada, where it faces government scrutiny remarkably similar to the oversight under way in the United States. Canadian government agencies federal, provincial and territorialstill must issue final approvals for the pipeline project. They are empowered to ensure the pipeline is designed, constructed and operated safely. They have a strong environmental voice over the project. This includes say-so on how the pipeline crosses streams, how land may be disturbed to trench and assemble the pipe, and what happens when the pipeline path penetrates acreage used by woodland caribou and other important wildlife. But there's one significant difference between U.S. and Canadian oversight: The pipeline project sponsor already has in hand some important Canadian authorizationsincluding arguably the most important ones of all, federal certificates to build and operate the pipeline. While the U.S. and Canadian governments both approved the gas pipeline project when it was initially proposed in the 1970s, project sponsors in the U.S. later gave up their rights. However, that 1970s-era pipeline project, with its certificates in hand, continues to exist in Canada. And the Alaska Pipeline Projecta joint effort of TransCanada Corp. and ExxonMobilhas structured the Canadian portion of its multibillion-dollar pipeline proposal around the plan that first gelled when Jimmy Carter was U.S. president, "Laverne & Shirley" was the top-rated TV show and Alaskans were taking their first strides as newly christened oil tycoons.

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Author Chad Rowan
Last Updated March 23, 2015, 20:15 (EST)
Created January 7, 2013, 14:10 (EST)
Citation Chad Rowan, Canada Takes Different Approach for Pipeline, 2013-01-07,
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