CCNB’s Fundy Baykeeper applauds restart of Energy East Pipeline Review and calls for a reform of the NEB before the review moves forwardThe Conservation Council of New Brunswick’s Fundy Baykeeper applauds the National Energy Board’s decision on Friday to restart the Energy East review process.
“This is an important decision, but not an unexpected one,” said Fundy Baykeeper Matt Abbott. “Given the questions of bias hanging over all decisions made by the last National Energy Board panel, the only way to move forward was to void all the past panel members’ decisions.”
The ruling was made following the filing of a Notice of Motion with the NEB on Jan 10 by Ecojustice lawyers representing Transition Initiative Kenora (TIK) calling for the Energy East proceedings to be declared void as a consequence of reasonable apprehension of bias. Read the Motion here.
The project’s 2016 hearings were suspended late last August, after complaints were filed against two NEB board members – Jacques Gauthier and Lyne Mercier– who met privately with former Quebec premier Jean Charest while he was being paid as a consultant to TransCanada Corp. The review panel recused itself shortly afterwards, prompting demands that the review process be restarted.
All decisions made by the previous panel members are void and will be removed from the official hearing record. Those who’ve already applied to participate need not reapply, but essentially everything re-starts.
Abbott says that this decision won’t fix the NEB process regarding Energy East. The current process was put in place by the Harper Government and has been roundly criticized by many.
“The Energy East review should be delayed until a modernized review process is in place. Given the problems with NEB that the Energy East review has brought into focus, it is clear that we cannot have confidence in the NEB as it is currently constituted,” said Abbott.
“In uncertain, stressful times, it is good to know that a massive, dangerous, project like Energy East does not loom as close as it appeared to a few short months ago.”
According the NEB media release issued this morning, previous decisions that have been voided include:
- Determination that the Energy East and Eastern Mainline applications are complete;
- Decision to review the Energy East and Eastern Mainline applications via a single hearing;
- List of Participants and any subsequent individual rulings on participation;
- Lists of Issues and factors to be included in the environmental assessments under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012; and Hearing Order.
To arrange an interview contact: Matt Abbott at 506-321-0429
The Fundy Baykeeper works for the Conservation Council to defend the public’s right to a healthy Bay of Fundy. Matt uses a well-marked boat to patrol the Fundy coastline from Alma to St. Stephen. The Fundy Baykeeper is also part of the international Waterkeeper Alliance.
For more information on how the proposed Energy East pipeline would affect the Bay of Fundy, read the National Resource Defense Council’s report on tanker traffic in the Bay of Fundy: Sensitive Marine Ecosystems Threatened by Energy East’s ‘Aquatic Pipeline.’
For a full list of New Brunswick waterways at risk from Energy East, check out our interactive map.
For more information on the risks of Energy East to the communities of the Bay of Fundy and Gulf of Maine, read the Conservation Council’s report: Tanker Traffic and Tar Balls: What TransCanada’s Energy East Pipeline Means for the Bay of Fundy and Gulf of Maine.
For more on the Energy East pipeline, check out:
- Our blog series on the NEB hearings in Saint John and Fredericton last August
- “Don’t risk current jobs, sustainable jobs, for jobs that are short-term,” CCNB’s Lois Corbett on Energy East pipeline
- Increased oil tanker traffic will impact fisheries
- “You can’t avoid climate change,” says CCNB’s Fundy Baykeeper on the Energy East pipeline