Toronto, Ont. – Apparently you can teach an old dog new tricks. The National Energy Board (NEB) has finally listened to Canadians and agreed to study the climate impacts of Energy East, as well as whether the pipeline makes economic sense in a carbon-constrained world. This is a step in the right direction.
Preliminary estimates suggest that the proposed Energy East pipeline would enable upstream greenhouse gas emissions of 30 to 32 MT annually and downstream emissions of 265 MT annually, which is the equivalent of operating 68 coal plants. Any reasonable assessment of the carbon pollution of Energy East would show that the pipeline is inconsistent with Canada’s commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
At the same time, the NEB continues to rely on an old pipeline review process using environmental laws that are being overhauled by the federal government.
By moving forward with the review of the largest, longest pipeline ever proposed in North America using a broken and discredited pipeline regulator, the federal government is inviting the controversy and gridlock it faces right now with Kinder Morgan.
Progress on studying climate impacts aside, the review of Energy East should be postponed until the NEB is overhauled and environmental law reform is complete.
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