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Canadian company caught in the middle of pipeline struggle

CALGARY, Alta. -- With various levels of government bickering over the details of a natural gas pipeline from Alask...


CALGARY, Alta. — With various levels of government bickering over the details of a natural gas pipeline from Alaska through Canada, one company in particular is getting caught in the middle.

That’s Foothills Pipe Lines, the Canadian firm that holds the right to build the pipeline.

Foothills is currently embroiled in a battle with natural gas producers who are hinting they would prefer a different route than the proposed one down the Alaska Highway, as well as with Canadian officials who can’t seem to decide where the pipeline should run.

Foothills has been anxiously awaiting the project since 1976, and has already sunk about $1.5 billion into the initial phase of the system counting on recouping that costs when the continent’s largest project finally gets the green light.

But the company is nervous following revelations during the Senate Energy Committee hearings of this week that indicated gas producers want to be put "in the driver’s seat."

If the producers get their way, Foothills fears that all their work and costs will go for naught as the Alaska Highway route will be scrapped. Company officials claim that the producers’ alternative would "create a confusing and chaotic" scenario.

And while the Canadian company assumed they could count on their own politicians for support, Jean Chretien has been overheard saying he supports an "over-the-top" route that would leave Foothills out in the cold.


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