From the bad-news department.
In Calgary, the Joint Review Panel today (December 19) recommended that the federal government approve the $6.5-billion project, which would transport oil from the Alberta tar sands across British Columbia to Asia, subject to 209 conditions.
“The environmental, societal, and economic burdens of a large oil spill, while unlikely and not permanent, would be significant. Through our conditions we require Northern Gateway to implement appropriate and effective spill prevention measures and spill response capabilities, so that the likelihood and consequences of a large spill would be minimized,” the panel’s report states.
The biggest obstacle to the pipeline remains the First Nations that have the ability to tie the final approval process in court for many years.
UPDATE: Andrew Leach has a good summary of the challenges still facing the pipeline, ultimately concluding that this decision “still leaves Northern Gateway a long way from shipping oil.”