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Canada Approves Kinder Morgan, Enbridge Pipelines Despite Fierce Opposition

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Canadian PM Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday that the Canadian government would approve two major tar sands pipeline projects, including expansion of the controversial Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline.

"Our duty is to permit infrastructure so Canada's resources get to market in a more environmentally responsible way, creating jobs and a thriving economy," Trudeau said at a press conference.

The Kinder Morgan pipeline has come under fire from activists and aboriginal groups.

"Apparently Justin Trudeau's sunny ways mean dark days ahead for climate action and Indigenous reconciliation in Canada," Greenpeace Canada spokesperson Mike Hudema said.

"In approving this ecosystem-destroying pipeline, Canada's leaders have ignored the threats to the Salish Sea, its marine species, and its 8 million people, including 29 Tribes and First Nations," Marcie Keever, Friends of the Earth's oceans and vessels program director, exclaimed.

Reuters reports that the opposition has "drawn inspiration" from the the current Dakota Access protests and stalled Keystone XL project.

Speaking of Keystone, senior Trump transition adviser Kellyanne Conway will reportedly tour the tar sands region in Alberta a week before the president-elect's inauguration, which may signal that the incoming administration will prioritize the pipeline's approval.

"Today's announcement may as well have said that Canada is pulling out of the Paris climate agreement," Aurore Fauret, tar sands campaign coordinator for 350.org, said. "By approving the Kinder Morgan and Line 3 pipelines, there is no way Canada can meet those commitments. Justin Trudeau has broken his promises for real climate leadership, and broken his promise to respect the rights of Indigenous peoples."

Indigenous and non-Indigenous leaders rallied last week in Vancouver to oppose the mega-project. Watch here:

For a deeper dive:

Kinder Morgan: Reuters, AP, Bloomberg, CBC News, New York Times, CNBC, Huffington Post, Houston Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Mashable, Climate Home

Conway Visit: Washington Post, Washington Examiner, Grist, Huffington Post, Toronto Star,Calgary Herald

Commentary: Vancouver Sun, Karen Mahon op-ed

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