Home / Market / With B.C.’s rejection of Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, Canada’s diversification strategy is unravelling
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With B.C.’s rejection of Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, Canada’s diversification strategy is unravelling

The $6.8 billion Trans Mountain project involves twinning its existing 1,150-kilometre pipeline from the Alberta oilsands to its terminal in Burnaby to increase pipeline capacity to 890,000 barrels a day from 300,000.

Just as the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion seemed to be within striking distance of winning a regulatory permit, the British Columbia government formally requested its rejection Monday in a submission to the National Energy Board (NEB).

The takeaway: Alberta’s – and Canada’s – oil market diversification strategy is unraveling.

The other takeaway: The climate change policy implemented by Alberta’s NDP government to secure pipeline approvals, with much encouragement from Justin Trudeau’s federal Liberal government, is looking more and more like a lot of pain for zero gain.

Of the four major export pipeline projects proposed to open new markets for Canadian oil production, the TMX expansion should have been the easiest to pull off because it twins a pipeline that has been safely transporting oil from Alberta to the B.C. coast for 60 years.

But in its final argument to the NEB, which is in the last days of a two-year review, B.C. threw the book at the project, claiming: “the company has not provided enough information around its proposed spill prevention and response for the province to determine if it would use a world leading spills regime.”

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