The National Energy Board’s recommendation to approve the Enbridge Northern Gateway oil pipeline project was not unexpected.
However, it is by no means the end to this debate.
In fact, the decision is likely to create a more unified opposition than already exists.
First Nations, environmentalists and other concerned citizens have already condemned the NEB decision, despite the fact the organization included 209 conditions to its report.
And it’s not just groups or individuals whose communities will be directly impacted by the proposed oil pipeline that are voicing their concerns.
Protests have occurred throughout the province, including Nelson and other areas in the Kootenays.
Opposition appears to be everywhere.
The project still needs the approval of the Federal Government in order to proceed and even then, the debate will likely rage on.
First Nations groups have already indicated that they will take the fight to the courts — a battle that could last for years.
Enbridge’s vision to create twin pipelines, carrying diluted heavy bitumen from Alberta, through BC and into Kitimat is, realistically, a long way away, if it happens at all.
The questions are, does our need for oil justify the risk of a spill in beautiful BC?
Is new technology being developed fast enough to create affordable, reliable fuel alternatives?
And does Enbridge care?
There is a ton of money to be made from this pipeline and that may be the deciding factor.