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A fisherman paddles the waters of the Kitimat Arm of the Douglas Channel recently in northern British Columbia near to where Enbridge Inc. plans to build its Northern Gateway pipeline terminal facility.
A fisherman paddles the waters of the Kitimat Arm of the Douglas Channel recently in northern British Columbia near to where Enbridge Inc. plans to build its Northern Gateway pipeline terminal facility.
(STAFF/REUTERS)

Social licence of public approval adds new rules to energy project game

We’re going to hear a lot about social licence in the next little while as the Harper government makes its ruling on Enbridge Inc.’s Northern Gateway oil pipeline through British Columbia to the Pacific Coast.

Social licence – or lack thereof – looks to be the scourge of traditional business plans in B.C. as fears grow about the ability of Enbridge and others to proceed in the face of opposition. Experience in energy and a solid forecast for returns take back seats to it.