ARCHIVED - Harper Government Encouraged by Important Milestone in Transportation of Canadian Oil West to East

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August 1, 2013

SAINT JOHN, NEW BRUNSWICK – The Honourable Rob Moore, Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Regional Minister for New Brunswick, today reacted to TransCanada’s announcement of their Energy East Pipeline Project proposal on behalf of the Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources. This project aims to carry Canadian crude from Alberta and Saskatchewan to refineries in Quebec and New Brunswick.

“Our government’s priorities are job creation, economic growth and long-term economic prosperity,” said Minister Moore. “We welcome today’s milestone in transporting Canadian crude from West to East and reaching new markets abroad.”

The government only allows energy projects to proceed that are safe for Canadians after an independent, science-based environmental and regulatory review process. Nevertheless, proposals of this kind are, in principle, exceptional news for Canada’s energy security and our economy.

In 2012, 83 percent of crude oil deliveries to Atlantic Canadian refineries and 92 percent of oil deliveries to refineries in Quebec were imported, primarily from the Middle East, Nigeria and Angola.

“Our government has lowered taxes, streamlined regulatory reviews and is aggressively working to reach new markets for Canadian natural resources,” said Minister Moore. “This initiative would allow Canadian refineries to process more potentially lower priced Canadian oil, making our country less reliant on foreign oil from other countries.”

“Our government is committed to enhancing pipeline safety.  We have introduced tangible new measures to further enhance our record and that work continues,” said Minister Moore.

Those new measures include:

  • Increasing the number of oil and gas pipeline inspections from 100 to 150 and doubling the number of safety audits to identify potential issues and prevent incidents from occurring;
  • Requiring the development and implementation of an emergency management program focused explicitly on emergency-preparedness and response requirements;
  • Requiring companies to develop and implement a security program that anticipates, prevents, manages and mitigates conditions that could adversely affect people, property or the environment;
  • Introducing new fines for companies designed to preventatively address pipeline contraventions quickly so larger issues do not arise in the future; and
  • Strengthening consultation with aboriginal groups.

“While our government has taken action, our work continues. This June, we announced our intention to bring forward more measures,” said Minister Moore.

Those measures include:

  • Regulations that will require companies operating major crude oil pipelines to have a minimum of $1 billion in financial capacity;
  • Entrench the "polluter pays" principle in legislation; and
  • Improving transparency by ensuring company’s emergency and environmental plans are easily available to the public. These emergency and environmental plans spell out exactly what a company will do, and the sequence of actions, in the unlikely event of a pipeline rupture or spill.

“Natural resource development supports 1.6 million jobs across Canada and generates billions of dollars of tax revenue and royalties annually for critical social programs like health care and education”, concluded Minister Moore. “The expansion and diversification of our energy markets is a priority of the Harper Government because it is crucial to jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity.”

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