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McKenna says Energy East review will continue under the “original system”

Red Head March

Council of Canadians energy and climate justice campaigner Andrea Harden-Donahue has commented, “The Liberal government promised to reform the broken National Energy Board (NEB) process for reviewing pipelines, including those already under review. The existing reviews for both projects have shown a lack of adequate aboriginal consultation, a clear democratic deficit, and a failure to evaluate climate implications.”

But on Wednesday Nov. 25, Trudeau’s natural resources minister, Jim Carr, told TransCanada and Kinder Morgan, the corporations behind the Energy East and TransMountain pipeline proposals, that, “The proponents will not be asked to go back to square one. There will be a transition phase, and I will be working with my colleagues in order to be clear about what that transition phase means, and we will do that as soon as we can.”

And then on Friday Nov. 27, Trudeau’s minister for environment and climate change, Catherine McKenna, stated, “We’ve already started looking at what [reforms to the review process] will mean for existing projects and how we develop a new process for projects that come forward. I should be clear that projects initiated under the original system will continue on that path.”

The Energy East pipeline alone would help spur up to 750,000 barrels per day of additional production from the tar sands, an estimated 39 per cent increase over 2012 production levels. While that would add about 32 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year, the environment minister said on Friday that the tar sands “are an important contributor to not only the Alberta economy but the Canadian economy”.

Harden-Donahue says, “The Energy East and Trans Mountain reviews have been marred by controversy and, as they stand, are illegitimate.”

To tell Trudeau, McKenna and Carr that, “The Liberal government must live up to its promises by stopping the flawed NEB review of these controversial projects and launching a public review of Canada’s environmental assessment processes”, please go to our Keep your promises, Liberals: Stop pipeline reviews action alert.

The National Energy Board is expected to announce its recommendation on the Kinder Morgan pipeline in May 2016.

Their recommendation on the Energy East project could come by April 2017.