The Energy East pipeline is a proposed oil pipeline in Canada. It would deliver oil from Western Canada and North Western United States to Eastern Canada, from receipt points in Alberta, Saskatchewan and North Dakota to refineries and port terminals in New Brunswick and possibly Quebec. The TC PipeLines project would convert about 3,000 kilometres of natural gas pipeline, which currently carries natural gas from Alberta to the Ontario-Quebec border, to oil transportation. New pipeline, pump stations, and tank facilities would also be constructed. The CA$12 billion pipeline would be the longest in North America when complete.
The project was announced publicly on August 1, 2013, while the Keystone XL pipeline proposal was being debated. In October 2014, TransCanada Pipelines filed its formal project application with the National Energy Board. At the same time a number of groups announced their intention to oppose the pipeline.
The entire length would be 4,600 kilometres with approximately 70 percent being existing pipeline (3,000 kilometres) that would be converted from natural gas to crude oil. Once completed, the pipeline would provide feedstock to refineries in Montreal, Quebec City as well as Saint John. The original project proposal included a marine oil export terminal in Cacouna, Quebec, but that configuration was abandoned due to the impact it would have on a beluga whale habitat. The project would have a capacity of 1.1 million barrels of crude oil per day.
The proposed route crosses the territory of 180 aboriginal / indigenous groups, most of which are strongly against it. Each of the 180 may[clarification needed] in law have a veto under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau has vowed to sign and uphold. This veto is supported by some Canadian oil extraction corporations such as Suncor. Aboriginals have a long history of winning court challenges in Canada[examples needed].
The project is also strongly opposed by some Canadians on scientific grounds. The Pembina Institute released a report urging the National Energy Board consider the impact on carbon emissions, estimating the project's upstream impact as being between 30 and 32 million tonnes of carbon emissions per year. This position was supported by the Governments of Ontario and Quebec, who want the impact of the project on greenhouse gases examined as part of the National Energy Board review process, but do not oppose the project in principle. The Ontario Energy Board  also has right to assert its own conditions and jurisdiction, but has not as yet.
Another controversial aspect is a new supertanker complex at the eastern end of the pipeline near Quebec city. Exploratory work was put on hold for a month after the Quebec Superior Court found that the Quebec environment ministry had not considered the impact of the project on beluga whales in the area. A public opinion poll held in Quebec found only one-third of Québécois supported the pipeline, while it is supported by the majority outside of Quebec.
Project endorsements and process concerns
The project is endorsed by the Liberal Government of New Brunswick and claimed to create over 2000 construction jobs in a province with 11% unemployment. Former Conservative Party of Canada Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper endorsed the project, as does the Government of Alberta. This endorsement was renewed by NDP Premier of Alberta Rachel Notley after her election in 2015. The Legislature of Saskatchewan unanimously endorsed a motion supporting the pipeline in November 2014, and the Premier of Saskatchewan Brad Wall called on Prime Minister Harper "to take leadership in supporting TransCanada’s proposed Energy East pipeline". Accordingly, the provincial governments of Alberta, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick are in support. Wall and Notley have taken the position that Ontario and Quebec cannot "veto" the pipeline.
The Maliseet First Nations raised concerns about the project during National Energy Board board hearings, but the six Maliseet first nations did not take a unified position on the project at that point, saying that were reserving judgment pending the results of a traditional land use study and technical review. TransCanada said that it would "strive to reach consent" with the First Nations to avoid and mitigate any possible adverse effects of the Energy East pipeline.
Wall's (but not Notley's) position is that provincial equalization can be withheld from provinces that do not support it. Ontario and Quebec have imposed approval conditions on Energy East  but dropped climate change concerns  in December 2014.
Since the election of Justin Trudeau as Prime Minister in the Canadian federal election, 2015 and the replacement of Conservative with Liberal Party of Canada MPs along the entire route of the pipeline in New Brunswick (replacing former pro-pipeline MPs) and part of the route in Quebec, the Canadian federal position is unclear. The Prime Minister has strongly condemned the Harper-era process of regulation, citing serious conflict of interest and mandate flaws, and also promised to "work with the provinces to map out a plan to reduce Canada's collective carbon footprint within 90 days of taking office by putting a price on carbon pollution." Other Harper-era approvals such as Northern Gateway have been sharply criticized  and even called a "farce" by former public officials objecting to lack of oral cross-examination.
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