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New Brunswick premier calls for the twinning of the Energy East pipeline

Prentice and Gallant meet to promote the Energy East pipeline.

Prentice and Gallant meet to promote the Energy East pipeline.

On the eve of a Council of Canadians speaking tour in New Brunswick in opposition to the Energy East pipeline, that province’s premier visited Alberta for four days to promote the controversial pipeline project and has even gone as far as suggesting two export pipelines – one for oil, one for gas – should be built.

On Monday, New Brunswick premier Brian Gallant met with Alberta premier Jim Prentice and on Tuesday he met with top executives at TransCanada, the company behind both the Energy East pipeline and the Keystone XL pipeline to the United States. He is now back in New Brunswick.

While in Alberta, Gallant said, “We continue to support the Energy East pipeline. We want to ensure that it happens. We want to do whatever we can as a province to make sure that it makes its way to New Brunswick and to Saint John.” And, confirming it’s an export pipeline, he noted, “It’s important for us to deal with access to emerging markets…”

And CTV is now reporting, “[Gallant] said he told TransCanada that it should consider a second pipeline to carry natural gas, in addition to the oil pipeline already planned. …Gallant said the presence of the Canaport LNG terminal [in Saint John] is one of the reasons why the Energy East pipeline should be twinned. …If a reliable supply of natural gas is found, the Canaport LNG terminal could be converted to an export facility, which would be a multi-billion-dollar project.”

The Canaport LNG receiving and regasification terminal opened in 2009 and is capable of receiving the largest LNG tankers in the world. It currently imports liquefied natural gas from countries such as Qatar and Trinidad by tankers, puts the liquefied natural gas through a regasification process, and moves that by pipeline to U.S. and Canadian markets. In November 2013, the provincial Department of Environment gave permission for the terminal to export natural gas using tankers.

The Energy East pipeline project involves a 4,600 kilometre 1.1 million barrels per day pipeline from Hardisty, Alberta to Saint John, as well as a marine terminal in the St. Lawrence River to service export supertankers. It would convert 3,300 kilometres of natural gas pipeline from Alberta to Quebec for oil, with new pipeline constructed from Quebec to New Brunswick. The project would mean a 39 per cent increase in tar sands production from 2012 levels and would generate at least 32 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from the crude oil production required to fill it.

From October 26 to November 6, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow will visit communities in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to talk about why TransCanada’s proposed Energy East pipeline is all risk and little reward for Atlantic Canada. The tour will include public forums in Halifax (October 26), Cornwallis (October 27), Saint John (October 29), Fredericton (November 4), and Edmundston (November 6).

For more on the tour, please click here.