Energy East pipeline cancellation leaves Rachel Notley 'deeply disappointed'

REUTERS

TransCanada's Eastern Mainline project, also cancelled this week, would have added 279 kilometres of new natural gas pipeline facilities and nine compression units to the Canadian Mainline system used to deliver natural gas in Ontario and Quebec.

March 7, 2016: Protesters in Quebec disrupt hearings into the Energy East project seconds after they officially started.

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".

TransCanada Chief Executive Officer Russ Girling said in a statement that "after careful review of changed circumstances, we will be informing the National Energy Board" it won't go ahead with the Energy East pipeline.

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. "But it's completely understandable too that TransCanada has made this decision", says Chamber CEO David Duplisea.

June 16, 2016: The National Energy Board says it has officially started the clock on its review of Energy East.

As of Thursday, October 5th, 2017, the Energy East Pipeline project is no more.

Energy East would have taken 1.1 million barrels of crude from Canada's oil heartland of Alberta across the country to east coast ports and helped boost prices for Canadian producers, whose landlocked product trades at a discount to the West Texas Intermediate benchmark.

In a statement, TransCanada suggested last month that it might shelve the project overall if the new assessment procedure turns out to be too taxing on costs, schedule, and the viability of the project.

January 27, 2017: The new National Energy Board panel tasked with reviewing the Energy East pipeline decides to throw out all of the decisions made by the previous panel. "There's not even a light at the end of the tunnel that there's going to be clarity around or a timing on what some of these regulations could look like, so we certainly understand their decision to not move forward with this".

"This was an investor decision that resulted from the low global price of oil. We have close to a billion dollars in actual and planned projects coming here", said Duplisea.

As 350.org founder Bill McKibben quipped then via tweet, "Transcanada may abandon its #energyeast pipeline because it doesn't want to confront the climate implications". "As far as we're concerned, the whole criteria around social acceptability of major projects has become more and more important in terms of how we evaluate projects like Energy East and others".

"Some of those same forces that led to the cancellation of Energy East are very much threatening Keystone as well", Scott said. "We cautioned this project would die a natural death simply because of inactivity and because of ambiguity and confusion that the NEB and government allowed to happen".

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