Northern Courier Approval Highlights Pipeline Politics

In stark contrast to the continuing delay of the Keystone XL pipeline project, Trans Canada’s Northern Courier pipeline project has gone from initial application to regulatory approval in a mere 16 months.

The Northern Courier project is actually two parallel pipelines, one to carry bitumen and another to carry diluent from the Fort Hills mine area to the Suncor tank farm north of Fort McMurray, Alberta.

While clearly on a smaller scale than Keystone XL, (Northern Courier is about 90 kilometers in length compared to Keystone’s nearly 1,900 kilometer length) the speed with which Alberta’s Energy Resource Conservation Board completed the rigorous stakeholder outreach, environmental regulation compliance and mitigation process, was astonishingly efficient. After more than five years, the Keystone XL project is still under review, raising suspicion over the American political antics delaying the pipeline.

Read the full article at Fuel Fix. 

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