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New Brunswick calls for Energy East hearings to be “started as quickly as possible”

The Council of Canadians Fredericton and Saint John chapters gathered at the Nashwaak River on June 10 to oppose the Energy East pipeline.

Federal and provincial energy ministers met in St. Andrews, New Brunswick yesterday – with some of them highlighting the need for the approval process for the Energy East tar sands pipeline to get underway.

The Energy East pipeline would move 1.1 million barrels of oil per day, generate about 32 million tonnes of upstream greenhouse gas emissions a year, enable a 39 per cent increase in tar sands production from 2012 levels, cross 2,900 waterways, would threaten the drinking water of 5 million people, and is opposed by the 122 First Nations in both Canada and the U.S. that comprise the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion.

CTV reports, “One of the largest energy projects ever proposed in Canada remains stuck in limbo one year after the approval process broke down amid conflict-of-interest allegations. One major delay was triggered a year ago, when the National Energy Board hearings fell apart in Quebec amid accusations of conflict of interest [two members of the review panel met privately with former Quebec premier Jean Charest, a paid consultant with TransCanada]. Canada’s energy ministers are meeting this week in St. Andrews, N.B., where some of them are wondering when the process will get back on track.”

That article highlights New Brunswick Energy Minister Rick Doucet saying, “We’d like to get the NEB process and the hearings started as quickly as possible because when they start, the clock starts ticking.” It also quotes federal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr stating, “I can understand why people would want this to be moving along smartly and if it isn’t they would want to know why, and there will be explanations why that’s so. And all we can do is assure the people of New Brunswick that the National Energy Board is equipped with the resources they need to do the job and to do the job well.”

The Saskatchewan and Alberta ministers of energy also expressed their support for the Energy East project moving forward.

In January 2017, the NEB officially appointed three new members to a panel to review the pipeline proposal. It has not been made public when the NEB hearings – in which The Council of Canadians is registered as an intervenor – will resume. There has been speculation that the new in-service target date for the pipeline is 2022.

The Council of Canadians has been opposing the Energy East tar sands pipeline project since February 2013.

Most recently, we organized three protests in Fredericton, Saint John and Amqui this past June against the project – and we have just posted this action alert opposing the Trudeau government’s decision to exempt the proposed Energy East marine terminal and tank farm in Saint John from proposed new regulations to reduce volatile organic compound (VOC) air pollutants.

We stand with all those who are committed to protecting land, water and the climate against such destructive projects.