Canada's Justin Trudeau approved two controversial pipelines and rejected a third. - Grist


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Canada’s Justin Trudeau approved two controversial pipelines and rejected a third.

The Liberal Party Prime Minister announced on Tuesday the approval of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion from the Alberta oil sands to the Pacific coast and Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline expansion from Alberta to Wisconsin.

Trans Mountain expansion
Trans Mountain expansion National Energy Board

Enbridge's Line 3
Enbridge’s Line 3 National Energy Board

As if to soften the blow, Trudeau made a third announcement that the government will not permit the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline in British Columbia, citing the need to protect the Great Bear Rainforest and the people who depend on it.

Trudeau claimed there would be “15,000 new middle-class jobs” with the Trans Mountain expansion and that the pipeline will meet “the strictest of environmental standards” and won’t hinder Canada’s plans for carbon emissions. Not everyone agrees.

All three pipelines have faced opposition from environmental and indigenous groups concerned about potential leaks and tanker spills as well as the impact of new fossil fuel development on climate change.

The expanded Trans Mountain pipeline is going to be even bigger than Keystone XL. It would nearly triple the barrels of crude tars sands oil going to the coast.

“Today’s announcement may as well have said that Canada is pulling out of the Paris climate agreement,” said’s Aurore Fauret. “By approving the Kinder Morgan and Line 3 pipelines, there is no way Canada can meet those commitments.”