Senate committee approves dozens of energy-industry-friendly amendments to C-69

A Senate committee has approved dozens of amendments to the Liberal government's controversial environmental assessment legislation, primarily aimed at mollifying the energy industry.

Bill C-69 is supposed to improve the way the environmental impact of major energy and transportation projects are evaluated, making the assessments more stringent so that they are less likely to fail court challenges.

But the oil industry, backed by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, has launched ferocious opposition to the bill, which it claims will sow uncertainty and prevent major projects, such as pipelines, from ever getting built.

The amendments approved by the Senate's energy, environment and natural resources committee would reduce cabinet discretion to intervene in the assessment process.

They would also make it harder for anyone to initiate court challenges to decisions on projects and change how climate-change impacts are considered.

Some are word-for-word what was proposed by energy lobby groups.