Delegates at the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association convention going on this week in Edmonton will be debating a pair of resolutions to send letters to the National Energy Board to support Energy East and the Kinder Morgan pipelines.
The AUMA has not standing in the hearings, but Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson still thinks the message will carry some weight. “I think it’s very significant when you get local, elected officials from across this province coming together, making a strong statement. Whether that officially has standing in the NEB process or other processes is less significant politically than the fact that there’s this strong support from mayors who understand how important the oil and gas business and market access is to jobs and the economy of our province.”
The Energy East pipeline hearings have been delayed since protesters disrupted meetings last month in Montreal followed soon after by panel members resigning after being accused of bias. Critics said the panel was biased after learning two of the three panelists met last year with former Quebec Premier Jean Charest who was, at the time, a consultant for TransCanada.
Kinder Morgan’s $6.8-billion dollar Trans Mountain pipeline expansion that would carry crude from the Edmonton area to Burnaby in the BC Lower Mainland was given conditional approval by the NEB last spring. The Trudeau government is expected to give its thumbs up or thumbs down before the end of the year.