01/27/2014 06:01 EST | Updated 03/29/2014 05:59 EDT

B.C.-Alberta Panel Urges Harmonizing Rail, Roads, Pipelines For Economic Growth

CP/ Jonathan Hayward

EDMONTON - A joint study group says it will work to identify the best way to harmonize roads, rail, pipelines and permits in Alberta and British Columbia to get the most value for energy exports.

The group says it must also look at the viability of getting oilsands equipment from the B.C. coast through the mountains and into Alberta oilfields.

Port authorities in Vancouver have been working to get more oilsands equipment shipped through the city's facilities.

But they say they've been hamstrung by permit delays, red tape and the perception that oversized loads aren't allowed on mountain roads.

The group was set up last summer as part of the two provinces' mutual interest in Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, which would take Alberta crude through B.C. to ports in Kitimat.

The report also urges more formal co-operation between Alberta and B.C. to prevent and deal with future oilspills on land and in the water.

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