Shawn Jeffords
The Sarnia Observer
The group Environmental Defence asked MPs last week to speak out against Enbridge Pipeline’s application to the National Energy Board to reverse the flow of Line 9. The group claims the move will increase Ontario’s reliance on Western tar sands oil and lead to increased local air pollution from refineries.
“It’s raised my attention to the point and I’m definitely going to ask some questions about the statements they’ve made,” Davidson said.
 
The MP said she was disappointed the letter came to her through the media. That it still hasn’t reached her office is “extremely strange,” she said.
“I haven’t talked to any other MPs that got them either … I’m not sure what kind of a game they’re trying to play.”
 
Environment Defence said the letters were sent to all Ontario and Quebec MPs offices on Parliament Hill on Jan. 27.
 
The Enbridge proposal, to go to the board over the next two months, would see part of the line flow east. The line currently flows west from a depot near Hamilton.
 
Enbridge spokesperson Gina Jordan said the impact of the reversal on Sarnia refiners would be minimal because they use the company’s Line 5 and 6B.
 
“The Line 9 Reversal Phase 1 Project will not affect how crude is deliver to these refineries,” she said in an e-mail to The Observer. “For southern Ontario refineries, the project will help (Canada) offset foreign supply with Canadian light crude.”
 
Jordan said the flow, if the reversal is approved, would ship 50,000 barrels a day, with a maximum of 200,000 barrels a day.
 
Subject to approval, construction could start in summer 2011 and the reversed line would be in service by late winter or early spring of 2012.
 
Gillian McEachern, program manager, climate and energy for Environmental Defence, said putting the faith of the entire province’s energy needs in Alberta crude isn’t a prudent move. She’s pleased Davidson is looking into the plan.
 
“This has been a sleeper issue in that it’s been flying below the radar of Ontario MPs,” she said. “If she’s looking into this, I’m glad.”
 
McEachern said Ontario currently receives 40% of its oil from the east coast, north shore and Middle East. The remaining 60% comes from western Canada.
 
“I’d be more than happy to sit down and talk about these issues with Ms. Davidson,” she said. “We want to be talking them through and we want to acknowledge these issues.”