Skip to main content

Energy East Pipeline Cancellation

Published in the Globe and Mail October 10, 2017

There were serious questions about the wisdom and economic and political viability of the Energy East project from the outset.

It faced profound opposition in Quebec; Ontario's energy board had concluded the project wasn't in the province's environmental or energy security interests.

TransCanada's decision to terminate the project in the face of requirements to consider the upstream greenhouse gas emissions from the expansion of oil sands production that its construction would induce confirmed what many of the project's critics had suspected all along: There was no way Energy East could be reconciled with Canada's international commitments to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

The revision of the National Energy Board's review process to consider the upstream and downstream emission impacts of energy infrastructure projects is an important first step in the reform of the federal government's environmental and regulatory review processes. Much more remains to be done to ensure future decisions consider the effects of projects on Canada's international environmental commitments, their impacts on Indigenous peoples, and their overall contributions to sustainability.

Mark S. Winfield, co-chair, Sustainable Energy Initiative, Environmental Studies, York University