Energy East ads for nought?

This takes some analysis. TransCanada Pipelines is delaying the application for its Energy East Pipeline until next year. This is a major delay for the company. Even if TransCanada does nothing pro-active on the file for the year, it means costs are accumulating. And we are talking many millions.

The plan is for TransCanada to get National Energy Board permission to convert its major west to east natural gas pipeline to run bitumen slurry and to extend the line 1400 kilometres to Quebec City and then south to Saint John, New Brunswick. With a major terminal to be built at Saint John, the line is to bring 1.1 million barrels a day of bitumen slurry to the terminal to be put on tankers for world customers.

Consumers have suffered through the incessant television advertising and the full-page newspaper propaganda of TransCanada’s NewThink that tells us bitumen is good for you. Mind you, they think we are stupid so they call it heavy crude oil. They infer that it is good for the environment and will create thousands of jobs and neither statement could further from the truth. TransCanada has been spending millions of dollars to get you to love Big Brother Bitumen.

But what has happened? What is causing this delay, this change of heart? Are they so confident of U.S. President Barack Obama’s approval of TransCanada’s Keystone XL Pipeline through the American Midwest? Is TransCanada a one-trick pony and now has no need for this Energy East fiasco?

Or is it that they think the Enbridge proposal to reverse Line 9B through southern Ontario has the fix in with the National Energy Board? Betcha the entire board knows it is going to get fired if it does not approve that one. The Harper Conservatives greased that slide more than a year ago when it stopped Canadians from appearing willy-nilly in front of the board members and embarrassing them with the truth. Just wait for the hearings in Toronto soon. That event is going to be a zoo. They will probably not even let this writer in the door. Oh well, it used to be a democratic country!

Maybe TransCanada thinks that Premier Christy Clark in British Columbia can be persuaded to approve both the Enbridge Northern Gateway and the new Kinder Morgan pipelines to the Pacific coast to handle the Chinese markets.

The tar sands exploiters are so desperate that there is even serious talk now of sending rail tanker cars to Churchill, Manitoba on Hudson’s Bay. At least in the summers, bitumen can be shipped from there to world markets. It is just that the citizens of Churchill are in shock. It is too soon after the Lac-Mégantic disaster.

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Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry

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