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Study calls for federal carbon price to win broad support for oil pipelines

CALGARY - A study by the Mowat Centre says Ontario must push to ensure the benefits of proposed oil pipelines in the province — not just their costs and risks — are spread throughout Canada.

The report's authors say efforts by Ontario and other provinces to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions are being eclipsed by the emissions that come from rising output in Alberta's oilsands.

The paper says the most realistic and reasonable way to win broad support for pipelines is through a federal price on carbon, the proceeds of which could be invested in research, development and clean technology.

The report also flags concerns over the impact to Ontario's natural gas consumers in light of TransCanada Corp.'s proposal to switch part of its west-to-east gas mainline to oil service.

There are two proposals in the works to ship western crude to eastern markets via Ontario: Enbridge Inc.'s (TSX:ENB) Line 9 reversal and TransCanada's (TSX:TRP) much larger Energy East project.

On a recent visit to Calgary, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne expressed support for such projects, provided the environment is protected and First Nations are properly consulted.

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