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Notley says unfair to assess Energy East on downstream environmental impact

File: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley in Edmonton Alta, on Wednesday November 9, 2016.
File: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley in Edmonton Alta, on Wednesday November 9, 2016. Jason Franson, The Canadian Press

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says the federal government is being unfair in the way it assesses pipeline projects.

But Notley’s government won’t pursue a legal challenge for now to determine whether the National Energy Board overstepped its mandate in the case of the Energy East pipeline.

Notley says instead she will focus on working with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to advance two other pipeline projects that already have the green light: the Trans Mountain expansion to the West Coast and Enbridge’s Line 3 to the U.S. Midwest.

READ MORE: Justin Trudeau halts Northern Gateway, approves Kinder Morgan expansion, Line 3

Last week, TransCanada announced it wouldn’t pursue the Energy East line, which would have taken oil from Alberta and Saskatchewan to refineries in Montreal and New Brunswick.

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READ MORE: Alberta politicians express disappointment over TransCanada decision to cancel Energy East pipeline

TransCanada cited problems with an expanded NEB review process that now takes into account not just the environmental impact of getting the oil out of the ground, but also the impact the oil would have when it is transported and burned for fuel.

Notley calls that expanded assessment “somewhat discriminatory” saying that automakers, for example, aren’t assessed on the environmental impact of car parts they ship by rail.