Notley says unfair to assess Energy East on downstream environmental impact

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says the federal government is being unfair in the way it assesses pipeline projects.

But Notley’s government won’t pursue a legal challenge for now to determine whether the National Energy Board overstepped its mandate in the case of the Energy East pipeline.

Notley says instead she will focus on working with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to advance two other pipeline projects that already have the green light: the Trans Mountain expansion to the West Coast and Enbridge’s Line 3 to the U.S. Midwest.

Last week, TransCanada announced it wouldn’t pursue the Energy East line, which would have taken oil from Alberta and Saskatchewan to refineries in Montreal and New Brunswick.

TransCanada cited problems with an expanded NEB review process that now takes into account not just the environmental impact of getting the oil out of the ground, but also the impact the oil would have when it is transported and burned for fuel.

Notley calls that expanded assessment “somewhat discriminatory” saying that automakers, for example, aren’t assessed on the environmental impact of car parts they ship by rail.

The Canadian Press

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