The Northern Gateway Pipeline, once touted as faster domestic alternative to the Keystone XL Pipeline is now embroiled in likely years of regulatory hurdles.
Ken Chapman of the Oil Sands Developers Group says projections the Enbridge project would be approved with ease were misinformed, arguing that those concerned that a lack of export capacity could see oil sands projects shelved, should look east.
"Ontario, Quebec and Eastern Canada get much of their oil from offshore, and we've got pipelines going out there that we could be reversing and supplying the rest of Canada...We should be using more of own domestic sources in eastern Canada as well as going out to the west, " said Chapman.
And while much of the economic gain from the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline would be felt in British Columbia, Chapman says the oil sands are set to benefit from emerging markets in Asia.
"The economic spin-off is one element the other element is the need for market access and diversification of market, that in a larger sense is important to the oil sands development from an Alberta perspective," said Chapman.
More than 4,000 people are slated to testify at 18 months of public hearings on the Alberta to B.C. oil sands link, which got underway in Kitimat, Tuesday.