Saturday, 21 October, 2017

TransCanada abandons $12 billion pipeline project after green push

TransCanada terminates Energy East project TransCanada pulls plug on Energy East pipeline.
Cecilia Poole | 06 October, 2017, 00:25

Premier Brad Wall issued a scathing statement Thursday blaming Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for the announcement that TransCanada's Energy East pipeline would not go forward.

"I could be at the grocery store, I could be at the coffee shop, and people would constantly stop or say to me "protect our drinking water".

REGINA-The premiers of Alberta and Saskatchewan say Energy East would have been a nation-building project and that TransCanada's decision to cancel the pipeline is a bad day for the West.

Environment Minister David Heurtel said his government got no response from the company to two letters it sent in late 2014 advising that the project must pass a provincial environmental impact assessment.

"His actions and his government's actions may well have some westerners wondering if this country really values western Canada, the resources we have, and the things we do to contribute to the national economy and to quality of life for all".

In late August, the National Energy Board - an independent regulatory agency that oversees worldwide and inter-provincial oil and gas pipelines - announced it would consider upstream and downstream greenhouse gas emissions in determining whether the Energy East pipeline was in the national interest.

March 1, 2016: National cohesion on Energy East drifts further out of reach after the Quebec government announced plans to seek an injunction against TransCanada.

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.

The decision to abandon the project comes amid low oil prices and an expected slow-down in oilsands production.

TransCanada President and Chief Executive Officer Russ Girling delivered the company's verdict on the project in a statement released Thursday morning.

Energy East would have given oil producers in Alberta and Saskatchewan, who are heavily dependent on buyers in the US, another market for their crude by carrying about 1.1 million barrels a day to refineries and a marine-shipping terminal in eastern Canada.

TransCanada expects to book an estimated US$801 million (C$1 billion) after-tax non-cash charge in its fourth quarter results, following the decision to scrap the project.

The Calgary-based company refused to give further explanation.

The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association and others blamed TransCanada's decision on Ottawa's "unclear decision-making process".

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said Thursday that now Energy East is dead, there is an even greater urgency in completing the Trans Mountain project to B.C.to diversify the industry's export markets beyond the United States.

TransCanada was opposed to that condition, forcing Quebec to file a court injunction to require the company to submit to its environmental review process.

Jean singled out the mayor of Montreal, Denis Coderre, accusing politicians in the east of taking "pride and credit" when energy projects that would have benefited the country fall through.

"This project was so wrong and so unsafe, its hard to believe it was seriously contemplated", Gretchen Fitzgerald, national program director of environmental organization the Sierra Club, said.

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