The Pembina Institute, the Alberta based environmental and energy think tank has reacted to the decision by the United States Department of State to delay approval of the Keystone XL bitumen pipeline by urging Prime Minister Stephen Harper to under take a similar “objective perspective” on the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline from the Alberta bitumen sands to Kitimat.
In a news release, Pembina spokesman Dan Woynillowicz said that US President Barack Obama “has made it clear that he has heard the concerns of Americans about environmental protection, climate change, and the need for the United States to create a clean energy future.”
The State Department release on the decision did include “climate change,” which Pembina interprets as, “The fact that climate change will be explicitly considered in the final decision is notable given the higher greenhouse gas pollution associated with oilsands compared to other sources of oil.”
Woynillowicz said the US decision shows that the regulatory process should be ” based on the best available information and analysis, and will take into account the views and concerns of American citizens.”
He then goes on to say:
“This decision stands in stark contrast with the Canadian government’s approach to the proposed Enbridge Gateway pipeline that would transport oil sands product to the West Coast. Rather than maintaining an objective perspective on this pipeline, Prime Minister Harper and his cabinet have been actively promoting its approval before public hearings on the environmental impacts of the project have even begun.
“The Canadian government should take a lesson from the U.S. and ensure a broader and more rigorous review of Gateway is completed, including the upstream environmental and greenhouse gas impacts of expanding oilsands development to fill the pipeline.”