Skip to content

TransCanada may abandon Energy East project, seeks 30-day suspension of application

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


The Council of Canadians welcomes the news that TransCanada may abandon its Energy East tar sands pipeline project.


The Energy East pipeline would move 1.1 million barrels of tar sands 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.


Thomson Reuters reports, “TransCanada will suspend the application for its Energy East pipeline for 30 days and may abandon the project, the company said on Thursday [September 7], weeks after the National Energy Board regulator announced a tougher review process. TransCanada will do a ‘careful review’ of the new assessment process to gauge its effect on the costs, schedules and viability of the pipeline to the Atlantic coast, the company said in a statement.”


The article suggests two reasons for this announcement:


1- “The National Energy Board in August expanded the scope of Energy East’s review, saying it will consider the project’s indirect greenhouse gas contributions and will provide ‘more visibility’ to the evaluation of risks associated with accidents such as oil spills. …Assessing indirect emissions had been opposed by TransCanada, which had called it ‘completely redundant and unnecessary’.”


The Council of Canadians has argued – in our May 2014 legal appeal of the National Energy Board’s initial list of issues (which excluded upstream and downstream emissions), in this action alert, in this December 2014 open letter to the National Energy Board, and in numerous popular education materials and blogs – that both upstream and downstream emissions had to be counted in the review of the Energy East project.


2- “Energy East’s importance has diminished for TransCanada since U.S. President Donald Trump this year signed an order reviving the company’s  [830,000 barrel per day] Keystone XL [tar sands] pipeline.”


The Financial Post highlights, “The delay marks another setback for a massive project, which has already seen its expected in-service date delayed due to the re-start of regulatory hearings.”


The Globe and Mail adds, “The move to suspend the regulatory review could signal the death knell for a project that has drawn sharp criticism from environmentalists and stoked regional tensions along the cross-Canada route. The review has already been suspended once before over charges of political interference.”


Council of Canadians energy and climate justice campaigner Andrea Harden-Donahue comments, “Remember when Energy East was a ‘no brainer?’ High fives fellow pipeline fighters but remember, let’s not let our guard down and keep pushing for the end of this terrible terrible idea.”


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