Despite the fact that no detailed application for Energy East exists, the National Energy Board (NEB) prematurely released the “list of issues” it will judge the project on, and which it will not consider. Releasing that list before a detailed application exists is like writing a book review before you’ve read the book.
The list of issues is seriously flawed. While the NEB will review perceived upstream economic benefits, like tax revenue, it will not consider upstream environmental issues, like the proposal’s impacts on air and water. This is an unacceptable, imbalanced and illogical approach.
The NEB will allow into evidence reports on job creation, royalties and tax revenue, yet will not consider the climate impacts of the proposal, which are estimated to increase Canada’s global warming emissions by 32 million tonnes per year, equivalent to putting seven million new cars on the road. 
This premature determination of issues shows that the NEB review is clearly being rushed – part of a disturbing trend where hearings for major pipeline projects have a maximum 15-month timeline, regardless of the size, risk or complexity of the proposal. This approach undermines public trust and the legitimacy of the NEB’s decisions.
We are also concerned by the recent news that the NEB’s review of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain oil pipeline will drop all public hearing requirements, and of the 2,000 citizens who applied to participate, the board rejected 468 from participation without providing meaningful justification as to why. This is a worrisome precedent for the NEB’s Energy East hearings, and raises the question of whether the public will be allowed to meaningfully engage or will be shut out.
It’s clear that Canada’s federal process for reviewing pipeline proposals is broken and can’t do its job of protecting Canadians’ safety from risky energy projects.
About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE ( Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Naomi Carniol, Environmental Defence, 416-570-2878 (cell); 
Stephanie Kohls, Environmental Defence, (416) 323-9521 ext. 232, (647) 280-9521 (cell);