What is Energy East?
Energy East is a proposal by TransCanada Corporation to build a 4,500 kilometre pipeline that would transport 1.1 million barrels of oil per day from Alberta and Saskatchewan to refineries in Eastern Canada and an export terminal in New Brunswick. TransCanada would take advantage of 3,000 kilometres of existing pipeline by converting the underutilized Mainline pipeline from gas to oil, and connecting it to a new section of pipeline built through a small section of southeastern Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick.
Why It’s Needed
The Energy East pipeline would deliver substantial economic benefits to Canadians in all parts of the country, while creating thousands of new jobs.
You may find it unexpected that Canada, with the third-largest oil reserves in the world, imports hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil into Eastern Canada. In fact, Canadians in Atlantic Canada and Quebec spent $17 billion last year to import oil from the United States, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Angola and Nigeria. That amounted to more than 50 per cent of the oil used in the region.
Why not use Canadian oil? Well, currently, there is no continuous west-to-east pipeline that can carry large quantities of Western Canadian oil to refineries in Eastern Canada. This is a situation that Energy East would correct.
In addition to its potential to help displace foreign oil from Canadian markets, Energy East would deliver oil to a marine terminal in Saint John, New Brunswick, for export to overseas markets—including to Asia, Africa and South America. This would help Canadian oil producers diversify their markets and get typically higher international prices for their oil.
Where It’s At and What You Can Do
Energy East is being reviewed by Canada’s energy regulator, the National Energy Board (NEB). Public consultations were temporarily suspended after the three panel members conducting the review decided to recuse themselves in order to preserve the integrity of the NEB and Energy East review. However a new panel has been appointed and public consultations are expected to recommence in the near future.
“It’s important for supporters of Energy East and increased market access for Canadian oil to keep letting key decision makers know that this is an important nation-building project for all of Canada,” says David Sword, advisor of Ontario communications and outreach for CAPP. “To keep in touch on all the latest, I’d highly recommend joining Canada’s Energy Citizens.”