08/22/2012 11:01 EDT | Updated 10/22/2012 05:12 EDT

David Black Refinery: Kitimat Council Could Support Media Mogul's Proposal

FILE - In this June 28, 2011 file photo, birds nest at a colonial waterbird nesting site as a refinery stands in the background along the Houston Ship Channel in Baytown, Texas. The island is part of a project to restore lost wetlands and islands off the Texas coast. According to a preliminary report released Wednesday by the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force, coastal states must work together to restore key elements of the Gulf of Mexico that have made it a backbone of the U.S. economy before the ecosystem becomes so weak and polluted that it is no longer habitable for animals or people. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

KITIMAT, B.C. - A proposal to build a $13-billion refinery in B.C. to process oil from the Northern Gateway pipeline has been criticized for its lack of support, but one B.C. city council is taking a closer look.

Councillors in Kitimat, the proposed western terminus of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline, say they could support the refinery plan floated by media mogul David Black, if the development meets certain conditions.

The guarded backing is the first since Black, the owner of several newspapers, including weeklies in B.C. and Alberta, announced the vision he thinks could save the proposed pipeline while bringing jobs and benefits to B.C.

Kitimat Mayor Joanne Monaghan says if Black's refinery is environmentally safe and survives a review process, her council would condone it.

She says it could be good for economically-challenged Kitimat by bringing jobs to the north coast while avoiding the shipment of thick, tarry bitumen by tanker through B.C.'s treacherous coastal waters.

The premiers of B.C. and Alberta are currently fighting over the division of benefits from the proposed Enbridge (TSX:ENB) pipeline, with B.C. insisting that it will halt the project unless it receives more compensation for shouldering the environmental risks. (CFTK)

Also on HuffPost

Photo gallery The Oil Sands and Canada's Environment See Gallery