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>> A massive Canadian pipeline project meant to carry crude oil thousands of miles from the oil sands of Alberta through pristine wilderness to the majestic shores of British Columbia could be days away from winning government approval. But with spirited fights underway over similar projects in the US, Canadian groups are gearing up to stop the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline.
Reuters energy correspondent, Neil Williams, traced the pipeline's route and met the project's supporters and opponents along the way.>> In total, the pipeline is 1,150 kilometers. We'll be following it along the whole route. What Kinder Morgan wants to do is with this pipeline is they want to twin it.
There's already a pipeline between Edmonton and Burnaby. It currently takes about 300,000 barrels a day of crude oil and some refined products. By twinning it, they're hoping to turn it into a 890,000 barrel per day pipeline.>> Williams wasn't the only person traveling the pipeline route. Ian Anderson, President of Kinder Morgan Canada, was in the city of Kamloops to pitch the Chamber of Commerce on the project.
>> We spent thousands of man hours and millions of dollars to go through a process that despite what you might read in some corners, was rigorous. It was thorough, it was time consuming, it listened and heard from everybody that participated in it. Now we look forward to decision of the federal government in its final form in mid-December.
>> The many residents and activists along the way don't feel listened to or reassured. Art Jackson is a tour guide in Jasper National Park.>> This river is pristine, it's clean. You can drink right out of this river, you will never have to worry about it. My concern, of course, is if there is an oil spill and it's usually using a matter of time when something breaks.
But oil, the dilbet that they pump through these pipes is a type of bitumen that sinks, so there is no such thing as clean up.>> Michael Hale is a co-founder of an ecological village in Chilliwack BC and the expanded pipeline would run beneath his gardens.>> I will come out here to the pipeline where it crosses our land and I will lay down in front of excavators and they can arrest me.
They can take me away, I'll come back. I'll do it all over again.>> Aboriginal groups in BC's lower mainland are planning litigation and civil unrest if the government approves the project. The Trans Mountain Pipeline is set to terminate here in the Vancouver suburb of Burnaby, where the crude will be loaded into ocean tankers.
But not if the mayor of Burnaby has anything to say about it.>> There is just too much to risk, whether it's on land or on water, for us to accept this pipeline. The economic benefits for British Columbia are negligible. It's one of those situations in which we take all the risk without any of the benefits.
>> Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government will issue a decision by December 19th. But if the pipeline is approved, the fight will have just begun.