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NEWS: Harper backs Energy East pipeline

The Toronto Star reports, “Prime Minister Stephen Harper is backing a plan to send oil to Canada’s eastern provinces from Alberta as the Obama administration decides whether to allow construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Harper met Canadian oil-industry executives in Calgary April 11 to build support for a plan by TransCanada Corp. to ship crude to Saint John, New Brunswick, about 640 kilometres northeast of Boston. Executives from TransCanada and Saint John-based Irving Oil Corp. attended the meeting, according to two people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named because the discussions weren’t public.”

The article notes, “Canada ‘strongly supports constructing energy infrastructure that will help transport Western Canadian oil to the east’, Harper wrote in an April 29 letter obtained by Bloomberg News. He was replying to Conservative lawmakers from New Brunswick who had asked for a fast regulatory review of the proposed project. …In their March 22 letter to Harper, 14 Conservative lawmakers called on the government to conduct a single regulatory review for Energy East. ‘The last thing this project needs is unnecessary red tape or approval processes.'”

In the omnibus C-38 ‘budget bill’ legislation, the Harper government gave itself the power to give the go-ahead to pipelines and other major energy projects regardless of the conclusions of recommendations coming from regulatory hearings.

TransCanada’s proposed Energy East pipeline is a 4,400 kilometre artery that could carry 500,000 to 850,000 barrels per day from Alberta to Saint John, New Brunswick as soon as 2017. Those backing this pipeline have highlighted the export potential of the pipeline given the deep water port in Saint John. Gordon Laxer has stated, “Instead of supplying domestic conventional oil to eastern Canadians as part of a national eco-energy plan to transition Canada off fossil fuels, this is just another tar sands-exporting ploy. If it succeeds, it will sink Alberta and Canada even deeper into a ‘hewers of wood’ trap — which is also a carbon trap.”

For more, please read:
Stephen Harper backs made-in-Canada pipeline
NEWS: Pipeline fights critical as tar sands may reach 3.2 million bpd by 2020
NEWS: Saint John mayor boasts of Energy East pipeline export options in the Bay of Fundy
NEWS: North Bay, Ontario expresses opposition to Energy East pipeline