Maine Governor Voices Support for Energy East Pipeline Project across Canada

By Bissett, Kevin | The Canadian Press, September 9, 2013 | Go to article overview

Maine Governor Voices Support for Energy East Pipeline Project across Canada


Bissett, Kevin, The Canadian Press


Maine governor lends support to pipeline

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LA MALBAIE, Qc - The governor of Maine is lending his support to TransCanada's proposed west-east pipeline, saying his state would welcome Alberta's oil.

The transportation of crude was a key issue as the New England governors and Eastern Canadian premiers held their annual meeting Monday in La Malbaie, Que., where Gov. Paul LePage expressed his support for the $12-billion development.

"I think it's a great project," LePage said. "I think we need the oil and I think we need gas. Although I would prefer it to be natural gas, it is oil and it's needed."

TransCanada (TSX:TRP) Corp.'s Energy East Pipeline project, which still has to clear regulatory reviews, would ship up to 1.1 million barrels of crude per day from Alberta to Quebec in 2017. A 1,400-kilometre extension would be built to ship oil to the Irving Oil refinery in Saint John, N.B., a year later.

LePage said he would prefer to see oil shipped by pipeline rather than rail cars, citing the train derailment in Lac-Megantic, Que., a disaster he said was a "perfect storm" involving aging equipment and human error. The tracks used to transport western oil to New Brunswick pass through Maine.

Pat Binns, the Canadian consul general to New England, said the Energy East Pipeline is drawing more attention south of the border.

"It could be important for the northeast of the U.S. in terms of where its oil comes from," Binns said. "There's a few years down the road before all this happens, but people are looking at the options."

New Brunswick Premier David Alward, who left the meeting early to address a TransCanada board of directors meeting in Fredericton, said he continues to try to convince Quebec Premier Pauline Marois of the merits of the development. He said a steering committee set up by both provinces is reviewing the project. …

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