Reg­u­la­tor con­sid­ers re­view of En­ergy East emis­sions

Edmonton Journal - - FP EDMONTON - GE­OF­FREY MOR­GAN gmor­gan@na­tion­al­post.com

CAL­GARY The Na­tional En­ergy Board may con­sider the up­stream and down­stream emis­sions as­so­ci­ated with the con­struc­tion of Tran­sCanada Corp.’s mas­sive En­ergy East pipe­line project.

The NEB re­leased a draft list of is­sues Wed­nes­day that its hear­ing panel might con­sider as it reviews Tran­sCanada’s ap­pli­ca­tion to build En­ergy East, a $15-bil­lion project that would move 1.1 mil­lion bar­rels of oil per day be­tween Al­berta and New Brunswick.

It also re­leased a draft list for con­sid­er­a­tion on a Tran­sCanada nat­u­ral gas pipe­line project called the East­ern Main­line.

The draft list in­cludes an item, for which the NEB is re­quest­ing feed­back, that would re­quire the hear­ing panel to con­sider the up­stream and down­stream green­house gas emis­sions of the En­ergy East project and also Tran­sCanada’s east­ern main-line project.

“That would re­ally be a first for the NEB,” spokesper­son Marc Dro­let said. He said the reg­u­la­tor is look­ing for feed­back on that is­sue and oth­ers as it is work­ing “to de­fine the scope of the re­view” for En­ergy East.

Emis­sions im­pacts have been a con­tro­ver­sial is­sue for the NEB, which did not pre­vi­ously eval­u­ate emis­sions from pipe­line projects in de­ter­min­ing whether the projects are in the pub­lic in­ter­est.

How­ever, in­tense pres­sure from en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists and crit­i­cism dur­ing the last fed­eral elec­tion has led the fed­eral Lib­eral party to cre­ate a panel to re­view and mod­ern­ize the NEB and the reg­u­la­tor may soon con­sider emis­sions.

The NEB also restarted its re­view process for En­ergy East last year af­ter three pan­el­lists as­sess­ing the project stepped down amid al­le­ga­tions two of them had met with a Tran­sCanada lob­by­ist, for­mer Que­bec pre­mier Jean Charest, be­fore hear­ings on the project began.

The new draft list of is­sues the reg­u­la­tor may con­sider for the En­ergy East project in­cludes eco­nomic con­sid­er­a­tions, aboriginal im­pacts, safety is­sues and landowner con­sid­er­a­tions — all of which were com­mon­place in past NEB reviews.

How­ever, Dro­let said there were a num­ber of other new is­sues the NEB would also con­sider, in­clud­ing the po­ten­tial en­vi­ron­men­tal and eco­nomic ef­fects of power line con­struc­tion and ma­rine ship­ping as a re­sult of the pipe­line project.

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