BC forest
Miguel VieiraThe pipeline would be built through British Columbian forests like these.

A key Canadian ruling Thursday could eventually lead to sticky tar-sands oil being shipped west via a new pipeline laid through spectacular forests and pristine streams.

Enbridge Inc. got a positive recommendation from a national review panel for its proposed $US6.1 billion Northern Gateway pipeline project, which would carry oil 730 miles from the tar sands of Alberta to a new terminal on the west coast of Canada, where it would be loaded onto about 220 ships a year, primarily bound for Asia. About a third of pipeline project would cross as-yet undisturbed land, and the oil-laden ships would travel through prime fishing areas.

Click to embiggen.
Northern GatewayClick to embiggen.

But it’s not a done deal yet. The federal government now has 180 days in which to make a final decision, and opposition in British Columbia and from First Nations (aka Native) groups could still trip up the process.

 The Vancouver Sun reports: