The slippery politics of pipelines: Canada’s biggest projects and the political lives that depend on them

Here’s where the pipeline projects stand as we approach the second half of both Notley and Trudeau’s first term in power

The politics of pipelines used to be a lot simpler.

It used to be Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper thundering to U.S. lawmakers that he won’t take no for an answer on the Keystone XL pipeline. At the time, environmentalists and left-leaning politicians were appropriately aghast.

Now, an NDP Canada premier is touring the country — or at least a few select cities — touting the benefits of pipelines that take Canadan oil to market.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has borrowed Rachel Notley’s logic, framing his environmental policies as a way to smooth over pipeline approvals and win “social license” for the emissions-intense bitumen shipped from the oil sands.

As Canadians start to feel the pinch from newly-introduced carbon taxes, the pipelines — and the jobs they bring — take on an increased importance.

Here’s where the major pipeline projects stand as we push into the second half of both Notley and Trudeau’s first term in power.

Keystone XL

If you didn’t see any touchdown celebrations after Nebraska approved the $8 billion Keystone XL pipeline this week, that’s because it came with some major caveats.

It may also be because everyone involved in the Keystone pipeline is pretty jaded after former U.S. President Barack Obama delayed the project in 2011, before finally killing it in 2015. It was revitalized this year by Donald Trump, but there’s still major hurdles to clear.

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