A report by the California-based consulting firm The Goodman Group says that the Energy East pipeline, the reversal of Line 9, and the refining of tar sands bitumen in Montreal, would provide negligible economic benefits to Quebec, but could cost billions of dollars if there were a pipeline spill.
The Canadian Press reports, “[The analysis] says the overall contribution of the oil sector amounts to about 0.5 per cent of the province’s economy and 0.3 per cent of Quebec’s jobs. …Any small economic benefits, [the report’s co-author Brigid] Rowan said, would be felt during the short-term, development phase. She said the projects would generate few long-term jobs in the province. The study also said while refiners would likely benefit from the lower-priced crude, the savings probably wouldn’t be passed on to consumers at the pump.”
The report notes, “Energy East would cross the Ottawa River near Hudson and Oka. Compared with Line 9, the Energy East Ottawa River crossing would be further downstream and even closer to the drinking water intakes around Montreal. also even more so than for Line 9, virtually all of the St. Lawrence in Quebec would be downstream of Energy East (which would parallel and cross the St. Lawrence and many other waterways).”
And it says that Quebec should invest instead in renewable energy and public transportation to create jobs and generate economic development benefits.
To read the 51-page report, please go to Economics of Transporting and Processing Tar Sands Crudes in Quebec.
The research was conducted for Greenpeace and Equiterre.