18 November 2014
Earlier this month, the province demonstrated its progressive credentials once again. Quebec's National Assembly called on the provincial government to exercise its environmental jurisdiction over TransCanada’s proposed Energy East pipeline. The resolution, which passed unanimously, is effectively a vote of non-confidence in the National Energy Board's review process for the pipeline.
It stated two specific concerns: first, the NEB doesn't consider the environmental impact of producing the crude that will flow through the pipeline; and second, the federal government still hasn't adopted carbon emission regulations for the oil and gas sector.
What the NEB is in effect ignoring is the 650,000 or more barrels per day of production from the tar sands that the pipeline will carry and the attendant generation of an additional 30 million tonnes of carbon emissions each year (the equivalent of adding more than seven million cars to Canada’s roads). A review that ignores the emissions the project will facilitate would seem to be not much of a review at all.
While the federal government has lost interest in regulating emissions from the oil and gas sector, Quebec it seems has not. Nor is it willing to overlook the upstream emissions resulting from pipelines. A sensible position that other provinces should emulate, regardless of the merit of Energy East.
Posted by Bill Longstaff at 1:49 pm