Thwarted on US oil pipeline, Canada looks to China
By ROB GILLIES
January 29, 2012
KITAMAAT VILLAGE, British Columbia (AP) — The latest chapter in Canada’s quest to become a full-blown oil superpower unfolded this month in a village gym on the British Columbia coast.
Here, several hundred people gathered for hearings on whether a pipeline should be laid from the Alberta oil sands to the Pacific in order to deliver oil to Asia, chiefly energy-hungry China. The stakes are particularly high for the village of Kitamaat and its neighbors, because the pipeline would terminate here and a port would be built to handle 220 tankers a year and 525,000 barrels of oil a day.
But the planned Northern Gateway Pipeline is just one aspect of an epic battle over Canada’s oil ambitions — a battle that already has a supporting role in the U.S. presidential election, and which will help to shape North America’s future energy relationship with China.
It actually is a tale of two pipelines — the one that is supposed to end at Kitamaat Village, and another that would have gone from Alberta to the Texas coast but was blocked by the Obama administration citing environmental grounds.