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September 10, 2013

LePage backs TransCanada border pipeline plan

Gov. Paul LePage told Canadian officials at a meeting Monday that he is supportive of a proposal by TransCanada Corp. to build an oil pipeline from western Canada to New Brunswick, saying that greater access to oil would be a boon to the Northeast.

The Associated Press reported LePage told Canadian officials that Maine could welcome the oil from Alberta. The company says its proposed pipeline would ship around 1.1 million barrels of crude oil daily from Alberta to Quebec by 2017.

LePage told officials he would prefer to see the pipeline rather than more oil transported by rail, citing the oil tanker derailment in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, as a potential danger.

LePage’s counterparts in northern New England — Democratic Govs. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire and Peter Shumlin of Vermont — were less enthusiastic about the proposal, though Shumlin said the decision is ultimately an issue for Canadian officials.

Should the plan pass muster with Canadian regulators, Irving Oil plans to build out a $300 million marine terminal in Saint John to expand shipping capacity at the end of the proposed pipeline.

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