NEB gets failing grade on Bay of Fundy impacts, says Corbett

Our Executive Director, Lois Corbett, told media outlets this week she is pleased the National Energy Board (NEB), for the first time ever, will look at the big picture of how carbon pollution will impact our changing climate when reviewing the proposed Energy East bitumen pipeline, but said the NEB got it flat wrong when it comes to the project’s potential impact on the Bay of Fundy.

On Wednesday, Aug. 23, the NEB released the revised list of issues that it will examine before recommending to stop or proceed with TransCanada’s proposed Energy East pipeline.

In interviews with CBC Information Morning programs in Saint John, Moncton and Fredericton, Corbett said the NEB failed to ensure its review will look at the environmental impact of increased oil supertanker traffic on the Bay of Fundy.

“If we are going to have an assessment that scientifically, from an evidence-based perspective, looks at the Bay of Fundy as an ecosystem, not just as the 401 for oil tankers, then they [the NEB] need to not fob it off on some voluntary review process, which the board said they would do,” Corbett said.

“Those huge tankers filled with oil will pose a risk to the Bay of Fundy. We need to look at the Bay of Fundy as a natural extension of a pipeline without the physicality of the pipes itself — so I’m disappointed that they thought that a voluntary review, an assessment by Irving Oil, would adequately address that.  

“Full marks to the NEB board in grappling with climate change. Failing grade on understanding the project’s impact to the beautiful and important Bay of Fundy ecosystem.”

TransCanada’s proposed Energy East pipeline would span 4,600 kilometres from Alberta to Saint John, involving the conversion of existing pipeline and the construction of roughly 1,400 kms of new pipeline in New Brunswick, making it the first oil pipeline to span the length of the province. It would pump diluted bitumen from the oil sands in Alberta and Saskatchewan to Saint John for export via supertankers in the Bay of Fundy.

Read the full CBC article here, or listen to Corbett’s interviews with CBC Information Morning above.

Corbett spoke with Global New Brunswick on Friday, Aug. 25. Watch the interview below: