N.B. premier makes last-ditch effort to revive Energy East pipeline
Final efforts are underway to revive the Energy East pipeline, including direct appeals from the Maritimes to the federal government.
New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant was invited to speak to an organization on Tuesday that has been outspoken in support of Energy East. But his message to the Greater Saint John Chamber of Commerce bordered on grim.
“We're going to do everything we can to revive the project, but we're not going to sugarcoat it. It's in a bad spot right now," Gallant says.
TransCanada Pipelines has suspended the approval process for Energy East while the company decides whether to proceed or pull out.
In a letter addressed to the prime minister, Premier Brian Gallant strikes an urgent tone.
"I believe that this project is in jeopardy and that is not in the interests of the country," the letter reads.
Gallant says Ottawa should both pay for and conduct the controversial greenhouse gas analysis that the National Energy Board has demanded of Energy East, rather than making those duties the responsibility of TransCanada.
In that regard, the premier says progress is being made.
"We've actually got a great signal that yes they are, so we're very excited about the fact that the Trudeau government would be willing to pay for the extra analysis that has to done by the proponent when it comes to GHG emissions," says Gallant.
After four years supporting the project, the business community is struggling with the recent turn of events surrounding Energy East.
"We're very disappointed, obviously, because of the thousands of jobs and the millions of dollars, but we'll just have to keep pressure on the government and the NEB to move this project forward," says David Duplesia of the Greater Saint John Chamber of Commerce.
Brian Gallant says the process needs to be fair and even-handed, or he warns that many will believe the pipeline was rejected because of "political considerations."
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Mike Cameron.