Regulator approves oilsands expansion, has environmental concerns

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CALGARY - Alberta's energy regulator has recommended approval of Shell Canada's plan to expand its oilsands production by 50 per cent even though it says the Jackpine project would have significant environmental impacts.

The recommendation must now be accepted by the federal government and ratified by the province.

The energy regulator included 88 recommendations for the governments on its decision and 22 conditions for Shell (TSX:SHC).

During project hearings opponents said the company's own research suggested environmental limits in the area near Fort McMurray were on their way to being breached.

The regulatory panel is also concerned about how Jackpine would affect the environment and how problems would be mitigated.

It said the provincial and federal governments should create new conservation areas to compensate for damage that the expansion would cause.

Organizations: Shell Canada, TSX

Geographic location: Jackpine, CALGARY, Alberta Fort McMurray

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