On October 5, TransCanada Pipelines issued a press release , announcing that it would no longer proceed with the proposed Energy East pipeline and Eastern Mainline projects. Accordingly, the National Energy Board Hearing Process has been closed, although documents remain on its website. Below is some of the reaction that has poured forth, including: “TransCanada terminates Energy East pipeline” and “Disappointment and delight mark the end of Energy East Pipeline” in the National Observer (Oct. 5); “Climate Hawks celebrate as TransCanada abandons Energy East pipeline” from Energy Mix. The Council of Canadians had conducted a 5-year campaign against Energy East: their reactions and those of their allies appear in “WIN! Energy East tar sands pipeline defeated!” ; “Voices from the Energy East Resistance” (Oct. 6) and “Diverse Groups Opposed to Energy East Celebrate Project’s Cancellation” . The common message is exemplified by Grand Chief Serge Simon of the Mohawk Council of Kanesatake on behalf of the 150 First Nations and Tribes who have signed the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion, who is quoted as saying: “Both the Northern Gateway fight and this Energy East one show that when First Nations stand together, supported by non-Indigenous allies, we win …. “So that’s two tar sands expanding mega-pipelines stopped in their tracks but it will be a hollow victory if either Kinder Morgan, Line 3 or Keystone XL are allowed to steamroll over Indigenous opposition and serve as an outlet for even more climate-killing tar sands production.” (and for more on that, read “Energy East cancellation resonates for opponents of Trans Mountain expansion in B.C.” in the National Observer.
Commentators trying to explain TransCanada’s decision focus on three principle reasons: the economics of falling oil prices, regional political forces, or the regulatory burden of pipeline approvals in Canada (especially since the Energy East review was required to account for upstream and downstream emissions). From the Globe and Mail, an editorial: “The death of Energy East was a Business Decision – Swimming in Politics” , which attributes the decision to Quebec opposition to Energy East, and the likely go-ahead of the Keystone XL pipeline in the U.S. The Editorial states: “Mr. Trump appears to have solved most of the Canadian oil industry’s pipeline shortage, making Energy East no longer economically necessary. The American President…. has also temporarily solved one of the Trudeau government’s, and Canada’s, most challenging political problems.” For a view of the political dimensions within Canada, read “Energy East pipeline is dead, fallout in Alberta will be measurable” in Rabble (Oct. 6) . Finally, three overviews of the issues:”Regulations alone didn’t sink the Energy East pipeline” by Warren Mabee,Queen’s University and ACW Co-Investigator in The Conversation (Oct. 15); “Five Things you need to know about the Cancellation of the Energy East Oilsands Pipeline” from DeSmog Canada, and “Energy East’s cause of death: Business, politics or climate?“, from CBC News, which describes the regional differences via reaction from Canadian provincial premiers.