WINNIPEG, MB–TransCanada has announced plans to suspend its application for the Energy East Pipeline Project, and indicated it may not proceed with the pipeline.
“The decision to suspend the review process for Energy East is yet another hit for workers and their families, who depend on energy jobs. It is a vital infrastructure and nation building project: it would actually tie together eastern and western Canada physically, economically, and symbolically,” said Shannon Stubbs, Member of Parliament for Lakeland and Official Opposition Shadow Minister of Natural Resources. “Pipelines and other energy projects have always undergone rigorous reviews. But the Liberals continue to put up roadblocks to pipelines, holding them to a completely different standard than any other infrastructure project in the country.”
Energy East, a $15.7 billion project, would carry 1.1 million barrels of crude per day from Alberta and Saskatchewan to refineries and export terminals in Eastern Canada. Three hundred fifty nine suppliers have signed onto the project and it is estimated the project will create 3771 jobs per year in New Brunswick during construction. Last month, the National Energy Board announced indirect upstream and downstream emissions will be considered as a condition for approval of Energy East.
“Throughout the past year, investors have frozen or abandoned Canadian projects and taken all potential jobs with them. Uncertainty has pushed capital to south of the border, with less red tape and lower costs,” said MP Stubbs. “The Liberals’ risky policies are hindering Canadian energy. This is yet another example of how government can literally put oil and gas companies out of business. Minister Carr has commented on this situation, claiming this is a ‘private sector decision.’ But it is actually a direct outcome of Liberal decisions.”
TransCanada already faced delays with Energy East, when the Liberals threw out two years of review and required submission of a new application earlier this year. The previous panel was disbanded, and a new panel was appointed after delay, but no progress has been made.
“Canada has the most socially and environmentally responsible oil and gas in the world, and the future of Canadian energy development is dependent on reaching additional export markets. Energy East would have ensured Canadian energy security and independence while reducing reliance on the US, which is both Canada’s biggest energy customer and competitor, and is ramping up domestic energy production,” said MP Stubbs.
Rob Moore, former MP for Fundy Royal and current Official Opposition Shadow Minister for Atlantic Issues and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, is concerned about the missed opportunities for the entire Atlantic community.
“The Liberals continue to throw roadblocks in front of this important project. The Energy East Pipeline would mean adding value to Canadian resources here in Atlantic Canada. It means jobs and opportunity. When will Atlantic Liberal MPs stand up for their region and fight for this project?” said Mr. Moore.
TransCanada has requested a thirty-day review suspension, at which point they could choose to kill the project all together.
Shannon is the Member of Parliament for Lakeland, and Official Opposition Shadow Minister for Natural Resources.