TransCanada spikes Energy East

REUTERS

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Here's a timeline of events in the controversial pipeline's history.

(TSX:TRP) has cancelled its $15.7-billion proposed Energy East pipeline, cutting off a potential conduit to bring more western Canadian oil to eastern refineries and overseas export markets.

Quebec politicians, along with Indigenous and environmental groups, welcomed the project's demise, branding it as a harbinger of the inevitable death of fossil fuels and a reminder of the need for further green energy development.

TransCanada said it will record a non-cash charge of about $1 billion in its fourth-quarter financial results, reflecting the reduced carrying value of the projects.

TransCanada says it will inform the National Energy Board that it will no longer be proceeding with its applications for both pipelines.

An executive with the company told investors that it was still assessing the "commercial support" of the project, which still needs regulatory approval from Nebraska to go forward. He also rejected criticism that the changes to the rules of assessment of the pipeline project have precipitated the abandonment of the project. It said there would be no costs recovered from third parties. "We were still in the process of getting answers to our questions" from the company, he said.

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December 17, 2015: TransCanada files an amended application and cost estimate of $15.7 billion for Energy East.

The company said it will focus on it its $24-billion near-term capital program after dropping Energy East.

"Energy, pipeline and climate issues have been among the most highly charged political debates in Canada for several years", said Abacus chairman Bruce Anderson.

In November 2015, the Alberta government announced its climate plan, which gained support from a wide range of environmentalists and the CEOs of Suncor, Canadian Natural Resource Ltd. (CNRL), Shell and Cenovus.

Energy East "was supposed to cross more than 700 bodies of water", Quebec Environment Minister David Heurtel said separately in Quebec City.

It's also going to withdraw from a Quebec environmental review. The NEB board received the motions after a news report revealed the two members met with ex-Quebec premier Jean Charest, who was at the time a paid consultant for TransCanada.

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Irving Oil has worked with TransCanada on this project since it was first announced in 2013.

Gallant says Energy East, which would have would have created jobs in New Brunswick and helped the Canadian economy. The board said all hearing steps and related deadlines for the TransCanada Corp. project are no longer applicable as the new panel begins its review.

Environmental groups welcomed the decision to scrap a pipeline they said was at odds with Canada's commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Gallant said he believes the project's decision was due to recent changes to world market conditions and the negative impact of lower oil prices.

The company TransCanada had asked the national energy Board (NEB) last month to suspend the process of approval of the pipeline, after the criteria had been tightened.

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