Tuesday, 17 October, 2017

Alberta, NB premiers disappointed by cancellation of Energy East pipeline project

REUTERS Open this
Debra Rodriguez | 06 October, 2017, 00:36

"Given the positive signals the federal government has sent to TransCanada over the last weeks ... we believe it is clear that TransCanada is not proceeding with its application for the Energy East pipeline because recent changes to world market conditions and the price of oil have negatively impacted the viability of the project", Gallant said.

"The Board typically considers direct GHG emissions from construction and operations activities when assessing facilities applications", the board wrote in a letter to TransCanada.

In late August, the National Energy Board - an independent regulatory agency that oversees global and inter-provincial oil and gas pipelines - announced it would consider upstream and downstream greenhouse gas emissions in determining whether the Energy East pipeline was in the national interest. "And it may well be that they looked at their capital plan and they looked at their ability to execute on two major projects simultaneously and shelved one for a while in favour of the one that's more likely to move forward quickly".

The United Conservatives Interim Party Leader Nathan Cooper questioned the willingness of "Justin Trudeau and the Liberals to loudly champion Energy East and other pipeline projects".

A map shows the proposed route of TransCanada's Energy East pipeline. The pipeline and tanker proposal scheme was utterly incompatible with a world where we avoid the worst impacts of climate change. "I respect that. Our work is to assess the projects according to our rules in canada", said federal minister of natural Resources, Jim Carr. Not having pipelines means less tar sands out of the ground. The NEB decided in August to take into account the greenhouse gas emissions upstream and downstream of the project in its assessment. It's more expensive - and hard - to ship bitumen by rail. Nevertheless, it deals a blow to the oil and gas producers in Alberta and Saskatchewan who had hoped to get more markets for their oil, while it's a win for environmentalists who had sought to stop the project.

Much of the pipeline would have been converted from an existing natural gas pipeline, including the entire length that now runs through Saskatchewan. "Investors realize it wouldn't be profitable".

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says her government has always supported Energy East because of the new jobs, investments and markets it would create. Eastern Mainline would have allowed the company to divert its natural gas business to a new line. She said TransCanada made the right business decision given the ongoing uncertainties over the regulatory process.

"While we recognize the current market challenges related to lower commodity prices, we are seeing signs of growth in the sector".

The project was a 4,600 kilometre pipeline that would have carried up to 1.1 million barrels of crude oil a day. There are now no new tar sands extraction projects planned in Canada.

"Energy East was a disaster waiting to happen".

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said Ottawa is ultimately to blame for TransCanada's decision to cancel its proposed Energy East Pipeline and says the government's actions have undermined national unity.

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