ENVIRONMENT
04/02/2013 10:16 am ET Updated Jun 02, 2013

TransCanada Pipeline Project To Bring Crude Oil To Eastern Canada Welcomed By Government

This Sept. 19, 2011 aerial photo shows a tar sands mine facility near Fort McMurray, in Alberta, Canada. Environmentalists ho
This Sept. 19, 2011 aerial photo shows a tar sands mine facility near Fort McMurray, in Alberta, Canada. Environmentalists hoping to block a proposed underground oil pipeline that would snake 1,700 miles from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico have pinned their hopes on an unlikely ally _ the conservative state of Nebraska where opposition to Keystone XL pipeline has risen steadily since the project was proposed three years ago. Public hearings will start Sept. 27, in Lincoln on the 16-inch steel pipe that if built would carry oil extracted from tar sands in Alberta, Canada, through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma to refineries in Texas. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jeff McIntosh)

TORONTO, April 2 (Reuters) - The Canadian government said on Tuesday it was encouraged by TransCanada Corp's announcement that it plans to move forward on a plan to convert and build pipeline infrastructure to transport crude oil from Western Canada to eastern Canadian markets.

The project could potentially eliminate Canada's reliance on the higher priced crude oil that it currently imports to supply East Coast refineries.

Calgary, Alberta-based TransCanada, on Tuesday said its Energy East Pipeline would have the capacity to transport as much as 850,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

"Our government strongly supports initiatives to construct energy infrastructure to transport western Canadian oil to the east," said Canada's Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver, during a press conference. "It is in the national interest to replace higher-cost foreign crude with lower-cost Canadian crude to consumers and refineries in Quebec and Atlantic Canada."

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Oil Spills Since The Gulf Disaster