A new report by the National Energy Board, titled “Winding down the Pipeline,” recommends the federal government scrap the planned Keystone XL pipeline.
The report also calls on the federal cabinet to make sure the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline goes through the United States and does not cross Canadian territory.
Keystone XL is currently under construction, and was approved by the U.S. State Department last week, with Canada to receive $1.8 billion in a loan guarantee.
The $7.5 billion pipeline would carry oil from Alberta, through a port in B.C., to refineries on the Gulf Coast.
President Donald Trump has said he would like to see the pipeline go through, but it’s not clear whether he would allow the construction of the pipeline in the first place.
The NDP government says the federal election is a critical moment to take stock of what the federal Conservative government has accomplished so far, and how it can continue to move forward.
“The federal election has been a defining moment in the history of our country, and it is our duty to be in touch with the public on these issues,” National Energy Minister Dominic LeBlanc told reporters on Tuesday.
“I want to be clear, the government’s strategy is not to go ahead with this project, but to take the time to review and assess the options, so that we can make sure that it goes through in a way that is in the national interest, that is not going to be disruptive to the economy.”
The pipeline would take Canadian crude from Alberta to refiners on the West Coast.
It would also carry tar sands oil, which is often heavier than oil.
The NEB report, published Wednesday, says the Keystone XL project is “inevitable” and a “crucial” part of Canada and the world’s energy future.
“There is a strong public mandate for the construction and operation of the Northern Gateway Pipeline, and the Government will be making the right decisions to ensure that the project will go ahead,” the report said.
“We will not hesitate to take further action when we have a realistic prospect of success.”
The report recommends that the federal Cabinet cancel the Keystone approval and cancel all federal funding for the pipeline, as well as its funding for any of the other proposed pipeline projects in Canada.
“If there are no viable alternatives, the Government should not proceed with the pipeline,” the NEB concluded.
It’s not the first time the NEBR has recommended a moratorium on the pipeline.
Last year, the agency recommended that it not proceed.
In March, the NEA announced that the pipeline was a “risk to the health and safety of Canadians” and “is in no position to approve the project.”
In May, the federal Liberal government also called for the federal pipeline to be scrapped.
The NEB recommended that the government halt construction of any pipeline in Canada that crosses the U, S. and Canada.
The federal Conservative Party has called the NEBL report “a massive waste of time and taxpayer dollars,” saying that it does not give a realistic assessment of the project.
“What the NEBO does not do is make a judgment as to whether or not the pipeline would make a difference to Canada’s economy or not,” the party’s deputy leader Rona Ambrose said in a statement.
“It does not provide any information about whether it would make Canada safer or less vulnerable to climate change, or how it might make Canadians better off.
It does not even take into account whether or no the proposed pipeline would actually benefit the Canadian economy.”
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