Story by the Associated Press; curated by Oliver Darcy.

TORONTO (AP) — The Canadian government has approved a proposed pipeline to the Pacific Coast that would allow Canada’s oil to be shipped to Asia.

The approval was expected. Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been a staunch supporter of Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline after the U.S. delayed a decision on TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline that would take oil from Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The Canadian government has approved a proposed pipeline that would allow the country to deliver oil to Asia. (Image source: Shutterstock)

The Canadian government has approved a proposed pipeline that would allow for the delivery of oil to Asia. (Image source: Shutterstock)

Enbridge’s pipeline would transport 525,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta’s oil sands to the Pacific to deliver oil to Asia, mainly energy-hungry China.

There is fierce environmental and aboriginal opposition to the project and legal challenges are expected. Opponents fear pipeline leaks and a potential disaster on the pristine Pacific coast.