Canada doesn't necessarily need more oil pipelines to get crude oil out of oil sands deposits in Alberta, a former government geologist said.
Pipeline company Enbridge wants to build the Northern Gateway pipeline to transit an estimated 525,000 barrels of tar sands oil from Alberta to the west coast for deliveries to Asian markets.
Aboriginal groups along the Canadian west coast joined environmental critics in protesting the plans, claiming the development of tar sands oil does more harm than good.
David Hughes, a former petroleum geologist for the Canadian government, said there's plenty of pipeline capacity to meet growth expectations anticipated by the government.
Tapping deeper into Alberta crude oil deposits "may be good for the corporate growth ambitions of Enbridge but represents a travesty in the management of this non-renewable resource for Canadians, who are its owners, both in terms of the environment consequences of such an expansion and its long term energy security implications," he was quoted as saying to The Gazette newspaper in Montreal.
The Canadian government has thrown its weight behind the Northern Gateway pipeline. Canadian Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver had said environmental advocates were getting in the way of national development by opposing the project.