But expanding it is likely to significantly harm the killer whale population off the coast of British Columbia and increase greenhouse gas emissions from ships, the board said in its report. Yet they still recommended that the expansion move forward. Responding to the court, the federal government ordered the NEB to reopen its review process to fill in the gap on marine life and Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi ordered a new round of consultations with affected Indigenous groups.
The Court of Appeal rejected Ottawa's approval of the project past year, after it said the board did not adequately consult First Nations or look at the effects of marine shipping.
The NEB report would impose 156 conditions on the project if approved by the Government of Canada, along with 16 new recommendations that were created as a result of the new assessments and consultations.
"While they may think this is in Canada's best interests, this is not in the best interests of the people of Washington or of the world", Inslee said in a statement.
Moe did talk about regulations surrounding the energy industry, saying it's a challenging environment - pointing to the length of time it has taken for the Trans Mountain pipeline to go through the approval process.
Of the 156 conditions included in the NEB report, only six were revised from the project's previous approval.
It also found that a worst-case spill from the TMPP isn't likely, but would have devastating environmental effects if one did occur.
"As indicated in the NEB's report, the NEB has delivered a comprehensive, evidence-based, fair and meaningful review of Project-related marine shipping, within the timeline required by the Government of Canada", said Robert Steedman, Chief Environment Officer of the National Energy Board, in the release.
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The Canadian government proposal would lengthen the Trans Mountain Pipeline, which would allow the country to ship more oil overseas and bring in higher prices.
"The panel feels strongly that if these recommendations are implemented, they will offset the relatively minor effects of the project-related marine traffic and in fact will benefit the entire Salish Sea ecosystem", Steedman said.
Opponents of the project are already planning their response, which will include legal challenges, he said on Thursday.
The court's ruling in 2018, which forced the National Energy Board to reconsider the issue, initially handed a victory to indigenous leaders and environmentalists who have pledged to do whatever is necessary to thwart the pipeline, including chaining themselves to construction equipment.
Stewart Phillip, Grand Chief of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, said the second round of consultations ordered by the federal government was "fundamentally and horribly flawed". "If it's a vote between the orcas and the tankers, I vote for the orcas".
The NDP's Murray Rankin is disappointed and predicting more lawsuits. "This pipeline, as I have said on many, many occasions, will never see the light of day".
"Despite the obstacles and knowing that we have a great deal of work to do ahead, I am still optimistic today", Premier Rachel Notley said. The motion was asking the NEB to adopt the same climate impact standards it had already adopted for Energy East, that were a key factor in TransCanada finally abandoning the project. Pollution, industrial waste, and climate change do not recognize this border.
Southern resident killer whales face a seven-fold expansion in oil-tanker traffic if the project is built. "This project amounts to a death sentence for the South Resident orcas".