Going East! Transcanada to Build Tar Sands Pipeline to Atlantic
With the passage of the Keystone XL pipeline uncertain and under financial pressure to find export terminals so to justify expansion of vast tar sands operations in Alberta, the Canadian pipeline company—with backing from the Harper government— announced on Thursday that it will seek to build an enormous eastward pipeline so it can bring what critics call “the world’s dirtiest fuel” to market.
Environmentalists and citizens groups in Canada were swift to promise “fierce opposition” to the proposal.
Called the “East Energy Pipeline,” the $12 billion project would connect with existing pipeline networks in Quebec province and will be able to move up to 1.1 million barrels of tar sands oil a day up and over the northeastern United States to the coast of New Brunswick.
The new project, according to TransCanada’s CEO Russ Girling, is not intended to signal that the company has given up on building Keystone but shows it is willing (and able) to push for multiple pipelines at any given time.
“What we know in North America is production is continuing to grow,” Mr. Girling said at a news conference in Calgary. “The marketplace needs both of these pipelines and probably more.”
Joe Oliver, Canada’s natural resources minister, welcomed the TransCanada announcement and said the Canadian government would offer its full support.
“Our government welcomes the prospect of transporting Canadian crude oil from Western Canada to consumers and refineries in Eastern Canada and ultimately to new markets abroad,” Oliver said in a statement.
Critics, however, were unimpressed and vowed to fight the pipeline with the same energy and intensity that Keystone XL has faced.
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