New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant says the provincial government is “disappointed” with TransCanada’s decision to abandon its Energy East pipeline project.
The Calgary-based company had recently said it was suspending its efforts to get regulatory approvals for the mega projects but announced its decision to kill the project on Thursday.
The project would have brought 4,500 kilometres of pipeline to transport 1.1 million barrels of crude oil per day from Alberta and Saskatchewan to refineries in Saint John.
“TransCanada deciding not to proceed with its application is not good news for those who wanted to see the Energy East pipeline built – and your provincial government falls firmly in that camp,” Gallant said in a statement.
WATCH: Brian Gallant seeks clarity as future of Energy East Pipeline in doubt
Gallant goes on to say he has expressed support for the project over the last few years, while personally speaking with every member of the federal cabinet about its merits for both New Brunswick and the country.
“I continued to push for the project while in Ottawa this week speaking about the importance of the project with several federal cabinet ministers as well as with my colleagues and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the first ministers’ meeting,” Gallant said.
Gallant says he believed there was reassurance and “positive signals” from the federal government there would have been a “fair, even-handed and reasonable hearing at federal cabinet” when it came time to make a decision on approval.
WATCH: New Brunswick Opposition blaming Gallant government for Energy East assessment suspension
“We believed if TransCanada continued with the process, the project would be approved. We still believe that,” Gallant said.
Gallant says that although the economic benefits of the Energy East pipeline were not added to the province’s fiscal projections, he doesn’t doubt the province would have benefited greatly from the project.
“It is important to say today that, while we wanted to see the pipeline built, it is not the only opportunity our government has been pursuing to grow our economy,” he wrote.
Saint John Region Chamber of Commerce also disappointed
The Saint John Region Chamber of Commerce also issued a statement that outlines their disappointment with the decision.
“Although we are disappointed, Trans Canada has already invested over $1 Billion towards the project, $30 Million of that in Saint John, and there is still no line of sight on any kind of regulatory framework,” said CEO David Duplisea in a statement.
“We most certainly understand their decision not to proceed given that government and the (National Energy Board) have continually moved the goal posts.”
Opponents applaud decision
Meanwhile, opponents of the proposed project are celebrating the end of the Energy East pipeline.
Lois Corbett, the executive director of the New Brunswick Conservation Council, says this is the perfect opportunity to move away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy.
“We need to rethink that business model and I think today’s announcement signaled that,” Corbett said.
“We have to move on, we have to stop looking at and building all of our hopes and expectations on huge carbon polluting infrastructure projects.”