Ottawa hopes oilsands monitoring will speed approval of key U.S. pipeline
OTTAWA — Canada will boost monitoring of pollution from its oilsands and hopes this will speed up Washington’s approval of a proposed $7-billion pipeline to transport heavy Canadian crude to the U.S. Gulf Coast, Environment Minister Peter Kent said on Thursday.
Environmentalists have long campaigned against developing the oilsands of northern Alberta — the world’s third largest oil reserve — on the grounds that development produces unacceptable amounts of greenhouse gases and other toxins.
Kent unveiled a plan to start monitoring air and water quality in northern Alberta as well as the effects of the oilsands on biodiversity. The program, to be funded by the energy industry, will initially cost around C$50 million ($53 million) a year and should start soon, he said.
“It will provide the facts and the science to defend the product, which some abroad are threatening to boycott. There is already a great deal of disinformation and misinformation,” Kent told a news conference.
Output from the oilsands is set to double to 3 million barrels per day by 2020.
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