Demise of Energy East exposes political divide between energy, environment

Posted October 06, 2017

It announced Thursday that it will no longer be proceeding with its applications for the mega project "after careful review of changed circumstances".

Nonetheless, this is an unfortunate outcome for Canadians.

The largest pipeline proposal in Canadian history met a bitter end this week, leaving behind a trail of delighted environmentalists, deeply disappointed industry stakeholders, and carefully measured government responses.

The line would have brought western oil as far east as Irving Oil's New Brunswick works - Irving president Ian Whitcomb said in a statement, "This is a sad day for Canada".

TransCanada will also notify Quebec's Ministère du Developpement durable, de l'Environnement, et Lutte contre les changements climatiques that it is withdrawing the Energy East project from the environmental review process.

There is shock from the energy sector on Thursday morning as Calgary-based TransCanada announced they would be dropping the idea of a pipeline from Alberta to the east coast.

The Canadian National Energy Board told the company in late August that the projects' environmental reviews would look at the total lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the projects - including from extracting, processing, transporting, refining, and eventually burning the fossil fuels. This marked a first for the board, which had come under fire for not considering climate impacts in other pipeline hearings.

The Liberals are defending jobs while protecting the environment, Trudeau insisted during question period, but "the market conditions have changed fundamentally" since the pipeline was proposed, including a steep drop in oil prices, he said.

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TransCanada Corp.is cancelling the Energy East pipeline, the company said in a statement this morning. The project was cancelled Thurs. It was not immediately clear whether the project's opponents would be able to hold up Energy East as an example to the court.

The B.C. government doesn't share her view, however, and is now part of a court challenge against Trans Mountain being heard this week.

The project has opened deep rifts in political circles, with New Brunswick and Alberta premiers expressing disappointment Thursday and Quebec politicians like Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre celebrating its demise. October 5, 2017, she called on the National Energy Board to send a "clear" message on how it intends to evaluate pipelines in the future.

It will no longer proceed with its proposed Energy East Pipeline and Eastern Mainline projects. Several worldwide companies have sold off oilsands projects in the past year.

"This is not up to me to explain why the company took this decision".

The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association says it is "extremely disappointed with the decision".

"In a world where the oil sands were growing and the price of oil was really high, it didn't really matter that that pipeline was a little pricier to ship on, because it was still a lucrative proposition", he said.