Gateway Gazette

Proposed Changes to NEB: Red Tape, Delays, and Another Hit to Alberta’s Energy Sector

Ottawa, ON Conservative Members of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources, Mark Strahl, Critic for Natural Resources, and John Barlow, MP for Foothills, are disappointed by the National Energy Board Modernization Panel’s report which was presented to the Minister of Natural Resources last week.

The report, commissioned by the Liberal government, recommends shifting the approval process from an evidenced based approach to a politicized approach, completely contradicting the Prime Minister’s campaign promises, and contrary to the Environment Minister’s mandate to make the NEB a more efficient, and effective energy regulator.

The report calls for a complete overhaul of the National Energy Board, and suggests it be replaced by a new Canadian Energy Information Agency (CEIA) and a new Canadian Energy Transmission Commission (CETC). Both agencies would be located primarily in Ottawa, despite the fact that the NEB is currently located in Calgary near industry. Also included in the 26 recommendations is a substantial lengthening of the assessment process from 15 months to 3 years.

“While competing jurisdictions are cutting taxes and red tape, this Liberal government is making us less competitive, and making it harder to get projects built,” said MP Strahl. “No amount of additional red tape will turn a pipeline opponent into a pipeline proponent. These proposals will hurt energy workers and the jobs that employ them.”

“This government is adding unnecessary red tape and bureaucracy,” said MP Barlow. “We know that the Liberals don’t support our energy sector and want to phase out the oil sands.  Clearly the new model is being designed to ensure that no pipeline projects are approved in the future.”

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