TransCanada's Energy East: Not enough oil for that pipeline, analysts say

Kristopher Drake
October 6, 2017

Here's a timeline of events in the controversial pipeline's history.

TransCanada says it's cancelling plans for the Energy East pipeline and Eastern Mainline projects.

"TransCanada knows that Energy East would never receive approval if all its climate pollution was taking into account", Adam Scott, a senior campaigner with Oil Change International, a nonprofit research and advocacy group that looks at the impacts of fossil fuels, told ThinkProgress.

Canadian stocks may wobble Thursday after Transcanada walked away from its almost trans-continental pipeline.

New Liberal regulations on Canadian energy projects have forced companies to adhere to standards not enforced in other countries, giving exporters in Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Algeria a competitive advantage, she said.

Cancelling a pipeline project is a major win for environmental and climate advocates. It said there would be no costs recovered from third parties.

Girling assured investors that he expects TransCanada will continue to focus on its $24-billion near-term capital program, which he said will support growth in its annual dividend.

"But there is no doubt that with the Energy East pipeline project we would have been able to do even more to grow the economy, strengthen education and improve health care in our province".

December 17, 2015: TransCanada files an amended application and cost estimate of $15.7 billion for Energy East.

The company said Thursday it was abandoning the project after a "careful review of changed circumstances".

February 3, 2016: The National Energy Board directing TransCanada to rework its application to build the contentious Energy East pipeline because the document is too hard to understand - even for experts. The same logic that killed Energy East should help kill Keystone XL.

Energy East "was supposed to cross more than 700 bodies of water", Quebec Environment Minister David Heurtel said separately in Quebec City.

The NEB had to restart Energy East's application in 2016 after protests in Montreal shut down a hearing.

The review process is over, but several legal challenges to the pipeline - including over whether the environmental review adequately considered climate impacts - have tied the project up in the courts.

The National Energy Board ended up suspending the hearings into the proposed 4,500-kilometre pipeline and selecting a new panel. The NEB board received the motions after a news report revealed the two members met with ex-Quebec premier Jean Charest, who was at the time a paid consultant for TransCanada. It was first proposed in 2013.

TransCanada had applied to build Energy East three years ago, seeking to open access for Western Canadian oil producers to the Atlantic Ocean for exports to Europe.

"Given the positive signals the federal government has sent to TransCanada over the last weeks ... we believe it is clear that TransCanada is not proceeding with its application for the Energy East pipeline because recent changes to world market conditions and the price of oil have negatively impacted the viability of the project", Gallant said.

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