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Aboriginal leaders skeptical about possible oil sands pipeline

Leaders in the Mackenzie Delta question how serious Alberta is about building an oil pipeline to the Beaufort Sea.

Alberta government putting $50K to feasibility study

Leaders in the Mackenzie Delta question how serious Alberta is about building an oil pipeline to ship oil north to the Beaufort Sea.

The province of Alberta is looking at building a pipeline down the Mackenzie Valley, if options to the east and west don't pan out. The line would carry crude from the oil sands to the Beaufort Sea, where it could be shipped to Asian and European markets.

Alberta is putting $50,000 towards a feasibility study.

Nellie Cournoyea, the chair of Inuvialuit  Regional Corporation, questions the Alberta government’s commitment.

"I believe they are using $50,000 to do a research study and that's not a lot of money to spend to find out what, how they can do that. I guess we'll just have to wait to find out those results. For $50,000 I don't know how serious they are," Cournoyea said.

Fred Carmichael of the Aboriginal Pipeline Group said the Alberta pipeline has a lot of work ahead of it, and the focus should be on the Mackenzie Valley gas pipeline, which is in waiting.

"There is a huge difference between a gas pipeline and an oil pipeline. The pros and cons of an oil line would have to be carefully considered," Carmichael said.

He said he’s confident once the price of natural gas goes up, the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline will go ahead.