Prentice to push Energy East with Quebec, Ontario Energy East pipeline

The Energy East pipeline is aimed at transporting Alberta crude to the east coast.

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press
Published Sunday, November 30, 2014 11:47AM MST

Alberta Premier Jim Prentice is scheduled to meet with his Ontario and Quebec counterparts this week to lobby for support of the Energy East pipeline.

A spokeswoman says Prentice is to meet Quebec’s Philippe Couillard on Tuesday and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne on Wednesday.

Both eastern premiers have a list of demands about the proposal. They want contingency plans and emergency response programs in place, consultations with First Nations and consideration of environmental impact and greenhouse gas emissions.

Wynne said she reached out to Prentice last week so he understood the principles that Ontario and Quebec want considered in the approval process for the proposed $12-billion pipeline, which would carry more than one million barrels of western crude daily from Alberta and Saskatchewan to oil refineries in Eastern Canada.

After chatting with Wynne on the phone, Prentice intends to press his position in person, he said Friday.

“I start from a position that these are two premiers with whom we can do business. Two premiers who are interested in building the Canadian federation and who have put out, what they’ve put out, in an attempt to be constructive. That’s the view I will take going into these meetings,” said Prentice, who called Energy East a “nation-building” project.

“The port facilities associated with that project are not going to be in Alberta. They’re going to be elsewhere in Canada. And the turbines that are sourced for that project will be certainly fabricated in the province of Ontario — not in Alberta — so this is a Canadian project with benefits for all of us as Canadians.

“We need to remain focused on that.”

TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) has filed an application to use a repurposed gas pipeline to carry crude two-thirds of the way across the country and to build a pipeline extension that would lead to Saint John, N.B.

The Saskatchewan legislature passed a motion last week calling on Ontario and Quebec to recognize the National Energy Board as the appropriate body to review the proposal and to remove unnecessary barriers to the pipeline.

Prentice said he has read with interest the principles Ontario and Quebec have put forward if they are to support the project.

“Most of them actually are encompassed within the jurisdiction of the National Energy Board and most of them would sensibly encompass any regulatory review of something such as a pipeline.”