Alberta minister blasts energy regulator's 'historic overreach' on Energy East

TransCanada seeking suspension of application for Energy East pipeline

TransCanada Corporation announced Friday it is seeking a 30-day suspension of its application for Energy East Pipeline and Eastern Mainline Project to review the changes announced by the National Energy Board (NEB).

"Deciding the merits of a pipeline on downstream emissions is like judging transmission lines based on how its electricity will be used", she said.

"The Board is of the view that the requested suspension will have minimal consequences on potential participants in the hearing and on the Projects' review process", wrote the Board's secretary, Sheri Young, in a September 8, 2017 letter to TransCanada that was posted on the NEB website.

A Canadian regulator's plan to assess indirect carbon emissions when considering TransCanada Corp's Energy East pipeline application sets a harsh precedent for future projects, the Alberta government and supporters of the pipeline said on Friday.

TransCanada said the NEB's expanded pipeline standards could affect the "costs, schedules and viability" of its Energy East project.

The move from TransCanada comes after last month's decision from the Canadian energy regulator to cover a wide range of topics before making a decision on the approval of the projects.

"This is not an appropriate issue to include in the review".

"Really, it's just common sense that Canadians should be able to buy Canadian oil".

"We support the construction of the Energy East pipeline from Alberta to Saint John as it would help create thousands of jobs in New Brunswick and help grow the Canadian economy".

This response is meeting with solid opposition from environmentalists and some local governments, such as that of British Columbia, which recently said it will do its best to block the expansion of another pipeline, Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain. Additionally, Alberta's Climate Leadership Plan should satisfy concerns about upstream emissions.

Yet it's also true that industry is pursuing many initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint and that the market, not politicians, should have final say on whether to support such a long-term project. "But they are indeed considering other options as well", Gallant said. The pipeline could offset regional imports of 700,000 barrels of oil per day, though critics countered it would serve primarily as an export project.

It's sad to say, but the last time there was so much heavy handed, poorly thought out federal interference into the energy sector was during the failed National Energy Program in the early 1980s, when Trudeau's father Pierre was in charge.

"We believe it would be a historic overreach and has potential to impact the future of energy development across Canada", Alberta Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd said in a statement. "When will Atlantic Liberal MPs stand up for their region and fight for this project?" said Mr. Moore.

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