Federal government should reject funding, subsidies for Energy East pipeline project

(OTTAWA) March 9, 2016 – As the business case for the Energy East pipeline project falls apart, the Green Party of Canada is urging the federal government to commit to no public investments or financial guarantees in the scheme.

“TransCanada can spend all the money it wants on trying to push through this dated energy project, but we must draw the line at federal subsidies and investment,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands). “The Green Party remains opposed to Energy East for environmental reasons, but the business case is not sound and the economics don’t add up.”

Canada and more than 190 nations are now committed to the Paris Agreement, a climate deal that will lead to a continued drop in fossil fuel consumption as investment in clean technologies increases, said Gord Miller, Green Party Infrastructure and Community Development Critic.

“Up to three-quarters of the world’s oil reserves are already recognized to be ‘unburnable’ under climate targets,” said Miller, former Ontario Environmental Commissioner. “The Saudis and other OPEC nations have signaled that if petroleum reserves are left in the ground, it won’t be theirs. Western Canadian bitumen is not competitive to their low production costs.

“If the private sector wants this project so badly, they must assume the full financial risk: both short- and long-term,” Miller concluded.

Daniel Green, Green Party Deputy Leader, said that the Energy East pipeline will provide no benefits for Québec, but will instead increase oil spill risks through the more than 800 watercourses along the planned pipeline corridor, and result in the loss of valuable agricultural lands and forests.

“And don’t be fooled: Energy East would not reduce oil-train transport through Québec. Plans to expand oil extraction in western Canada would mean the trains keep running as well,” Mr. Green said.

The Energy East pipeline would deliver diluted bitumen extracted from Alberta oil sands and bakken shale oil to eastern Canadian markets via an estimated $15 billion pipeline and export terminal that begins in Hardisty, Alberta and ends in Saint John, New Brunswick. The pipeline would have a capacity of 1.1 million barrels per day and is scheduled to commence in 2018.