NEB recommends Trans Mountain approval with 156 conditions
The National Energy Board endorsed the approval of the Trans Mountain expansion on Friday, clearing a key hurdle for the government-owned pipeline project.
Here is some of what industry experts and stakeholders had to say to BNN Bloomberg about the decision that came with 156 conditions and an additional 16 recommendations to the federal government.
“We’re going to hold their feet to the fire to make sure that they get it right this time. If they have to hire a whole bunch more people to make sure that that happens, then that’s great. But I think that the risk of going too fast is that we end up right back where we started from, and that is absolutely not a thing that the people of Alberta or, quite frankly, the people of this country need to see happen.”
- Rachel Notley, Alberta Premier
“The whole exercise was a triumph of process over common sense. It was obvious in the first place that there was no other decision, logically, to make. They were talking about one extra tanker a day going through the Salish Sea waters … to think that a one-ship-a-day addition needed this big study to show that this wasn’t going to have a big negative effect on the existing situation was ridiculous in the first place. If you’re going to look at all of the impact on the whales, you have to look at all those ships. And, that’s not the NEB’s job, that’s somebody else’s job.”
- Gwyn Morgan, former Encana CEO
“To get it into a spot where there [are] some regulatory goalposts, if you will, that aren’t going to move anymore, I think hopefully it would become a saleable project, or at least a buildable project. That is the goal here, to get shovels in the ground and start the expansion of this ever-so-important project to the Canadian economy.”
- Scott Moe, Saskatchewan Premier
“This is step one. Lots of conditionality… but the government owns the project, so it’s not a case where a private-sector company might say: ‘There are way too many conditions here, too much uncertainty, too much cost. We’re not going to do it.’ In this case the capital is allocated. The project is owned by the government and I think you can assume that they’re going to want to move ahead when the other condition[s are] satisfied.
Of course they’re waiting for the report on the Indigenous consultations and I would guess that in the cabinet room, they’re thinking the sooner that comes in, the better, because they would like nothing more than to see shovels in the ground before that October election rolls around.”
- John Manley, chair, Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships
“The industry has been suggesting for some time that the Government of Canada look at this from a legislative perspective, and introduce legislation that would give some clarity to what kind of consultation is required, what kind of accommodation – financial or otherwise – is required and exactly what kind of a process do both the government and the companies have go through. It’s complicated and I think it’s going to take a much longer time-frame than TMX.”
- Hal Kvisle, chairman of Arc Resources and former CEO of TransCanada
“Yes, I think we’re going to get some short-term enthusiasm, but reality will set in, because I’ve never seen one of these mega-projects come in on-time and on-budget yet. And I don’t think this is by any means an exception.”
- David Prince, founder and president, Harbinger Capital Markets Research