National regulator to replace Energy East panel following complaints


National regulator to replace Energy East panel following complaints

OTTAWA — The Canadian Press

Published Friday, Sep. 09, 2016 10:52AM EDT

Last updated Friday, Sep. 09, 2016 5:29PM EDT


The National Energy Board has sidelined all three Energy East reviewers following complaints that two of them met privately with a TransCanada consultant last year and discussed the proposed oil pipeline.

The Calgary-based national energy regulator says it has also limited the duties of board chairman Peter Watson and vice-chair Lyne Mercier, who will not be involved in choosing the new panel to resume the Energy East pipeline hearings at a later date.

Media reports this summer revealed that Mercier and board member Jacques Gauthier, both of whom were assigned to the Energy East hearings, met privately in January 2015 with former Quebec premier Jean Charest, who was a paid consultant for TransCanada Corp at the time.

Late last month, the federally mandated and government-appointed energy regulator suspended the fledgling hearings into the proposed, 4,500-kilometre oil pipeline.

More than 50 environmental and governance advocates this week urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to scrap the whole NEB review process and start over with reviews on Energy East and the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in B.C.

Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr, speaking earlier to Canadian reporters in a conference call from Mumbai, India, would not offer an opinion on the NEB panelists or the appearance of insider influence.

However the government continues to promise a broad overhaul of the national energy regulator in the longer term, including looking at the board’s mandate and corporate governance.

Carr says there’s plenty of time for the NEB to get the Energy East hearings back on track and said ultimately the decision whether to approve the pipeline will be up to the Liberal cabinet, based on what’s in the national interest.



About prosperitysaskatchewan

Consultant on Saskatchewan's natural resources.

Posted on September 9, 2016, in economic impact, miscellaneous, oil, political. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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