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Canadian Government Keeps Controversial Pipeline Project Alive

The Canadian government announced plans Tuesday to buy a controversial pipeline that would carry oil from Alberta's tar sands to a port in Vancouver, the New York Times reports.

Kinder Morgan, a Houston-based infrastructure company, had previously planned to add a second pipeline alongside Canada's Trans Mountain Pipeline. The expansion would have nearly tripled the amount of oil flowing to the country's Pacific Coast from 300,000 barrels a day to 890,000.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has attempted to balance energy development with emissions reduction since coming into office in 2015, approved the pipeline expansion in 2016. But Kinder Morgan abandoned the project after widespread opposition from environmental and indigenous activists.

Environmentalists sharply criticized the prime minister's decision to keep the pipeline project alive. Aurore Fauret, a campaign coordinator for, called out Trudeau for "[opting] to ignore science, Indigenous rights and the voices of people across Canada and bail[ing] out a dangerous, unwanted pipeline with public money."

"The Trans Mountain expansion project is of vital interest to Canada and Canadians," Bill Morneau, Canada's federal finance minister, told reporters Tuesday. "Our government's position is clear: It must be built and it will be built."

The Canadian government will purchase the pipeline project for 4.5 billion Canadian dollars, and plans to sell the pipeline back to private industry once the expansion is complete.