CALGARY — Erin Flanagan, analyst at the Pembina Institute, made the following statement in response to the Canadian federal government’s final decision on the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline:
"The oilsands sector is already Canada’s fastest-growing source of carbon pollution, yet there are no federal regulations to limit that growth. We are very concerned about Cabinet’s decision to approve a project that will allow oilsands development — and its associated carbon pollution — to grow faster at a time when industry and regulators are failing to manage the impacts and risks of current production.
“The Pembina Institute’s analysis shows the carbon pollution generated by filling the Northern Gateway pipeline would be equivalent to adding over three million cars to Canada’s roads.
“Approving pipeline infrastructure that incents further oilsands expansion is not in the public interest in the absence of credible regulations to curb the growth of carbon pollution from the sector. Meaningful regulations could ensure the oilsands are developed in an environmentally responsible manner and could facilitate Canada’s transition to a low-carbon economy.
“The National Energy Board panel excluded the environmental impacts of oilsands development from its review of the Northern Gateway project. It concluded there was not a ‘sufficiently direct connection’ between the project and oilsands expansion. However, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers cites pipeline infrastructure as one of the key factors that influence the sector’s growth outlook.
“It’s time to modernize Canada’s pipeline review process. The federal government should reform its National Energy Board Act to include upstream carbon pollution in all future reviews of oilsands infrastructure projects.”
Director, Alberta and North (Edmonton)
To arrange an interview, and other inquiries:
Perspective paper: “Oilsands transportation infrastructure” (Nov. 2013)
Media release: “Pembina reacts to British Columbia’s rejection of the Northern Gateway pipeline” (May 2013)
Letter to the joint review panel: “Terms of reference for pipeline review must be amended” (Feb. 2010)