East Energy: Ontario is concerned that there are more risks than benefits

rapport-projet-transcanada-redige-suiteOf the Ontario Energy Board concludes that the Energy East pipeline project has more than environmental and economic risks than benefits for Ontarians – and that it will also increase the price of natural gas in the province.

In its report on the proposed TransCanada drafted after 15 months of public consultations, the Committee notes that Ontarians are particularly concerned about the potential impacts of an oil spill on the lakes, rivers and drinking water. The Committee also recommends that the route is deflected to move away from sensitive areas and that TransCanada involves residents during the construction and operation of the project.

“We can not state that the project meets the highest technical standards available since the developer has not yet filed a complete application,” said Rosemarie Leclair, President and CEO of the commission, by filing the report, Thursday morning.

The company wants to convey TransCanada 1.1 million barrels per day of crude oil from Alberta to refineries in Quebec and New Brunswick, and a marine terminal in Saint John, New Brunswick, for export . Alberta to eastern Ontario, TransCanada plans to convert an existing pipeline pipeline; for Quebec and New Brunswick, Alberta society build a new pipeline.

The commission says that Ontario residents are also concerned about the potential impact of the project on reserves and the price of natural gas in this province, where the existing pipeline will be converted to pipeline and supply gas will be reduced.

Prices up on the horizon

The experts of the Commission have estimated that over 20 years the price of natural gas would increase in winter on average by 11.9 percent in eastern Ontario if Energy East went ahead. The Union Gas distributor also believes that prices will rise if the pipeline is converted to pipeline and wants to negotiate with TransCanada that the current rates are protected.

On the benefit side, the Committee considers that the draft Energy East will an economic impact of $ 12-19000000000 on Ontario’s GDP and create up to 114,000 “full time equivalent jobs.” But the Committee recalls that such estimates do not include the costs associated with these projects – such as extra preparation for emergencies.

TransCanada reply that it will work with the Ontario government to “ensure that the project will comply with all established standards of safety and environmental protection, while providing important economic benefits,” said the door Floor-François Poirier.

The report of the Committee as a basis for the position of the Government of Ontario at the hearings of the National Energy Board, scheduled for 2016. The Ontario Energy Minister, Bob Chiarelli, already promises to play a very active role to the federal agency.

Environmentalists have welcomed with relief the report of the Committee. “Citizen participation has clearly shown that this risky project is not accepted by the residents of the pipeline in Ontario,” said Adam Scott, Environmental Defense organization. Same story at Greenpeace: Keith Stewart talks about a project “high risk but reduced profits, both for Ontario than for the whole country.”

Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters indicated that several Ontario groups support the project, including the Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Municipalities of Northern Ontario and the construction industry.

The Prime Minister Philippe Couillard warned this summer that Quebec should be able to benefit from economic benefits of the project before the government grants its approval. TransCanada had indicated in April that it was withdrawing its proposed marine terminal and oil storage tanks in Quebec, near the port of Gros Cacouna – an area frequented by belugas in the St. Lawrence Estuary.

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