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Gallant Will Urge TransCanada to Proceed with Energy East Application

Image: The Canadian Press

CALGARY — New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant says he will do whatever necessary to make sure the $15.7-billion Energy East pipeline proceeds and delivers crude – and jobs – to refineries in his province.

Gallant was responding to a surprise announcement Thursday that TransCanada Corp. wants to suspend for now its application to build the proposed 4,500-kilometre pipeline, which would carry crude from Alberta and Saskatchewan to refineries in Eastern Canada.

TransCanada says it has filed a letter to the National Energy Board asking for a 30-day suspension for the project so it can study how the NEB’s decision last month to consider the Energy East’s contribution to upstream and downstream greenhouse gas emissions will affect “costs, schedules and viability.”

RELATED: TransCanada Suspends Application for Energy East Pipeline

TransCanada is calling the changes to the regulator process “significant,” and warns that the entire project and related Eastern Mainline pipeline project could be cancelled.

In a statement late Thursday, Gallant said he spoke with TransCanada CEO Russ Girling and was reassured that the company is still considering going ahead with the NEB process.

But, Gallant says a suspension of its application “is not good news for those who want to see that pipeline built,” including his government.

RELATEDEnergy East Pipeline Review Will Look at Upstream, Downstream GHG Emissions

It’s another blow to the massive project after a review was derailed last year when members of the regulatory panel overseeing the NEB hearings resigned amid questions about a potential conflict of interest.

In January, the NEB invalidated nearly two years of decisions made by the previous panel and a new panel was appointed.

The Energy East review is taking place at the same time that the government considers a sweeping overhaul of the NEB following a report in May that said the system is broken and the NEB should be split into two agencies.

TransCanada had pitched Energy East as a “Canadian solution to a Canadian challenge.”

It said the 1.1 million barrels of crude that would be delivered across the country each day would displace hundreds of thousands of barrels of foreign oil currently imported into Eastern Canada daily.

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The Canadian Press