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What pipeline approval tells us about the Liberals

By Chantal HÉbert      

Trudeau spent the last campaign talking about righting the environment/energy balance. Based on the LNG decision, equilibrium between Canada's contribution to the mitigation of climate change and its energy ambitions remains as elusive as ever.

Pacific Northwest LNG would entail a pipeline across the province and a terminal to export liquefied natural gas from northern British Columbia. It has been billed as the largest private-sector development in the country's history. It is the first energy megaproject to be approved on Trudeau's watch and it provides a tentative template for upcoming decisions on the merits of a set of controversial pipeline projects designed to bring Alberta oil to tidewater. The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

MONTREAL—As Liberal leader and subsequently as prime minister, Justin Trudeau has talked in the abstract of the need to secure a social licence prior to undertaking any major energy project. Until this week, no one was sure what he actually meant by that. That changed when the federal government gave the green light to a massive liquefied natural gas project on the coast of British Columbia on Sept. 27. Pacific Northwest LNG would entail a pipeline across the

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