The National Energy Board released their reconsideration report on the expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline concluding to the federal government the project should move ahead. The NEB stated that the project is of national interest, however, their recommendation was accompanied with 156 conditions that would have to be met for the project to see completion, in addition, 16 recommendations were made to the federal government as extra considerations to review.
This recommendation, although recent, is not the first time the NEB has recommended to the federal government that the project should be approved. According the NEB website, the same recommendation for approval was stated and at that time, had 157 conditions attached to the project.
Oil industry members, such as the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors (CAODC), and politicians including, MP for Cypress Hills-Grasslands, David Anderson, said they are not optimistic that the announcement will have any bearing on the forward momentum of the pipeline expansion.
In addition to the NEB recommending approval in 2016, the CAODC stated in a press release last week that this is all news we’ve heard before, even in the recent past.
“What we heard today – that the TMX should be built and is in Canada’s national interest – is exactly what we heard when the federal government purchased the project in 2018,”said Mark Scholz, CAODC president and CAO. “This black hole of approvals sends a confusing message to industry investors, and the international oil and gas market.”
MP David Anderson wasn’t anymore enthused about the news, “The federal government has no intention of getting this pipeline built, this 155 day revision process by the NEB was instructed by the federal government, and they have come to the same conclusion they have before”.
Anderson continued by saying, he believes the federal government is going to, “play games until we can’t get it done”. He explained that the industry is already seeing the shrinking of foreign investment, which can create long-term impact as then the pipeline wouldn’t be needed as development project would be stagnant as no one is putting money into our energy.
Additionally, Anderson said if it goes too far, Canada would be using the pipelines to bring energy up here instead of the other way which, he stated “would be a complete disaster for us”.
Bill C-69, among others including Bill C-68 and Bill C-48, all still have the ability to stop the projects in it’s tracks and Anderson said, these are where people need to continue to focus their energy and to have fair debates and hearings regarding the details of these Bills.