TransCanada kills plan for Energy East pipeline
TransCanada is cancelling plans for the proposed Energy East pipeline and Eastern Mainline projects.
The Calgary-based company said previously that it was suspending its efforts to get regulatory approvals for the mega projects.
“After careful review of changed circumstances, we will be informing the National Energy Board that we will no longer be proceeding with our Energy East and Eastern Mainline applications,” chief executive officer Russ Girling said in a statement Thursday.
“We appreciate and are thankful for the support of labour, business and manufacturing organizations, industry, our customers, Irving Oil, various governments, and the approximately 200 municipalities who passed resolutions in favour of the projects.”
WATCH: Conservative MP calls decision to cancel the Energy East pipeline ‘missed opportunity’
He added that TransCanada will also withdraw from a Quebec environmental review.
Energy East was conceived as a way to ship Alberta oilsands production as far east as Saint John, New Brunswick. It 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 says it will inform the National Energy Board that it will no longer be proceeding with its applications for both pipelines.
The Opposition Conservatives reacted to the decision Thursday and blamed the Liberal government for the decision.
WATCH: Jim Carr says pipeline cancellation fueled by market prices
Tory deputy House leader Lisa Raitt said the decision was the result of a “disastrous” Liberal energy policy instituted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. She said this will end up costing millions of jobs and will do irreparable damage to the middle class.
LISTEN: How will cancellation of the Energy East pipeline impact Canada’s economy?
But Energy Minister Jim Carr is defended the government’s pipeline project approval process, noting it has already given a green light to the Trans Mountain and Enbridge Line 3 expansion projects.
Carr said the TransCanada move was purely a business decision fuelled by commodity prices and that nothing has changed in the government’s regulatory process.
New Brunswick, Alberta ‘disappointed’
New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant, who had expressed support for the project, said he was disappointed with TransCanada’s decision.
“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
“The project would have created jobs in New Brunswick and helped the Canadian economy.”
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley mirrored Gallant’s remarks.
“We are deeply disappointed by the recent decision from Trans Canada. We understand that it is driven by a broad range of factors that any responsible business must consider. Nonetheless, this is an unfortunate outcome for Canadians,” Notley said in a statement.
WATCH: Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi responds to TransCanada Pipelines’ announcement they are cancelling plans to build the Energy East Pipeline.
The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) also expressed its disappointed in the decision, saying the loss of the project means the loss of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars for Canada.
“TransCanada’s announcement follows the NEB Energy East Panel’s decision to consider upstream and downstream greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the projects. Pipelines are the only viable way to move large quantities of oil and natural gas to markets, safely and responsibly,” CEPA president and CEO, Chris Bloomer said in a statement.
LISTEN: Minister of Infrastructure Amarjeet Sohi speaks to 630 CHED’s Ryan Jespersen about the cancelled Energy East Pipelines
The Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractor released a statement Thursday afternoon about the decision, saying it was “extremely disappointed but not surprised” at TransCanada’s cancellation.
WATCH: On Thursday, TransCanada dropped a bombshell, announcing it was abandoning plans for the Energy East pipeline. Kent Morrison looks into how that development could affect jobs in Alberta.
Montreal celebrates decision
While many Energy East supporters cited the need to expand Alberta’s markets and decrease its dependency on shipments to the United States — others were against the pipeline, raising environmental concerns.
WATCH: Reaction is varied across Canada to news that the Energy East pipeline project has been cancelled by Trans Canada. While Quebecers are celebrating, there is disappointment in many other parts of the country. Global’s Raquel Fletcher reports.
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre celebrated the Energy East announcement on Thursday, suggesting in a series of tweets that citizen groups and local politicians from the Montreal-area played a key role in putting a stop to the project.
“The abandonment of the Energy East project is a major victory for the municipal world,” he tweeted.
Coderre and numerous other elected officials had argued the environmental risks associated with it far outweighed the economic benefits.
*With files from Global News’ Rebecca Lau and the Associated Press
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