Skip to main content

TransCanada president and CEO Russ Girling announces the new Energy East Pipeline during a news conference in Calgary, Alberta in this 2013 file photo.

TODD KOROL/REUTERS

A National Energy Board panel plans to examine whether construction of TransCanada Corp.'s Energy East pipeline would be consistent with Canada's greenhouse gas strategy as part of its overall assessment of the project.

The three-person panel issued a letter Wednesday "to all interested parties" outlining the proposed scope of its review of the Energy East crude pipeline and a related natural gas line in Ontario and Quebec. It asked for feedback before it finalizes the list of issues that it will assess during the review.

For the first time, the NEB proposes to examine greenhouse gas emissions that would result both in the upstream production of crude going into the pipeline, and the downstream refining and consumption of it.

Story continues below advertisement

The new panel was appointed in January after the original hearing was derailed last August over concerns that the board members were biased in favour of industry. Complaints arose following closed-door sessions with stakeholders in Quebec that included former provincial premier Jean Charest, who was on contract as a consultant for TransCanada.

If approved and built, Energy East would carry 1.1-million barrels a day of western crude to eastern refineries and export terminals.

In its letter, the panel said it intends to "consider the context in which the projects are being proposed, including Canadian and provincial energy and greenhouse gas strategies, policies, laws, or regulations."

It also proposed to examine what the federal and provincial governments' greenhouse gas strategies will have on crude supply and markets that would justify the need for the project.

Previously, the National Energy Board only considered GHG emissions directly associated with the pipeline.

After taking office 18 months ago, the Liberal government conducted departmental reviews – outside the environmental assessment process – of the emissions impacts for projects such as Kinder Morgan Inc.'s expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline and Petronas's Pacific NorthWest liquefied natural gas export terminal. It approved both those projects despite finding they would increase GHG emissions from oil and gas production.

TransCanada spokesman Tim Duboyce said the company wanted to review the draft list of issues the NEB released before commenting.

Story continues below advertisement

Greenpeace Canada's Keith Stewart said the NEB review process needs a fundamental overhaul, adding a GHG component is like "trying to duct-tape wings onto a bus and call it a plane."

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Tickers mentioned in this story
Unchecking box will stop auto data updates
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter