Toronto, ON – With a new Energy East review panel in place, the National Energy Board (NEB) must follow legal precedent and restart the proceedings. The current review is beyond repair and the new panel members must not pick up where their recused predecessors left off.
The only outcome aligned with the law and all parties’ interest in an impartial process is the voiding and complete restart of the review. The recused Energy East panel members acknowledged that their conduct led to a reasonable apprehension of bias, tainting their decisions. Recent jurisprudence shows that the Energy East process must go back to the start, with a resubmission of the project application by TransCanada.
The federal government must fulfill its promise to restore public confidence in the energy project review process. While the NEB is being overhauled and the federal government assesses how to align energy projects with climate policy, it makes no sense to proceed with the Energy East review.
The government is in the midst of public processes to modernize the NEB and reform Canada’s environmental assessment laws. The review of Energy East should be restarted only when these reforms are complete. After the recent approvals of high-carbon projects like Kinder Morgan, Enbridge Line 3, and Pacific Northwest LNG, there needs to be a legal mechanism to reject energy projects that contradict Canada’s Paris climate commitments.
The NEB should pull the plug on the Energy East review and restart it only when an overhauled review process with a credible climate test is in place. After the recent approval of tar sands pipelines with the capacity to carry over a million additional barrels of oil per day, the federal government needs to demonstrate more than ever how energy projects fit within its Paris climate targets and the pan-Canadian climate framework.
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