Enbridge Inc. (ENB) said it found a way to ship more Alberta oil to the U.S. that doesn’t require a review similar to the one faced by Keystone XL: switching crude from one pipeline to another before it crosses the border.
The State Department, responsible for approving cross-border energy projects like the Alberta Clipper and the proposed Keystone XL line to the U.S. Gulf Coast, said in a statement that Enbridge can go forward with its plan under authority granted by previously issued permits.
The plan drew criticism yesterday from environmental groups, including the National Wildlife Federation, opposed to new imports from Canada’s oil sands because mining and processing the fuel releases more climate-warming carbon than other types of crude.
“The president’s promise to decide Keystone XL based on its climate impacts is completely meaningless if the State Department is simultaneously permitting other tar sands pipelines behind closed doors,” Sierra Club attorney Doug Hayes said in a statement.
In filings with the State Department, Enbridge said the plan was necessary to meet the needs of Alberta’s oil producers as a planned expansion of its Alberta Clipper line that requires U.S. approval is delayed.