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The $12-billion Energy East pipeline announced by TransCanada Corp. Thursday is the third nation-building project proposed by the Canadian energy industry in the past dozen or so years. The Mackenzie gas pipeline that would have opened and enriched the North failed, and the Northern Gateway oil pipeline to usher new trade with Asia is in trouble.
Many lessons were learned. Big losses were suffered. Changes were made. Today, Canada can and must pull off Energy East, which would truly make the country oil rich.
Started as an after-thought after the United States delayed approval of Keystone XL, the Alberta-to-New Brunswick pipeline promises the biggest benefits yet to Canadians from its energy patrimony, while ensuring the best environmental protection that can be had.
“This is a historic day for TransCanada and a historic day for our country,” said CEO Russ Girling said, comparing the project to other nation-building projects such as the Canadian Pacific Railway, the Trans-Canada Highway and the company’s own cross-country natural gas mainline, which will be the foundation of Energy East.
With the project gearing up to deliver up to 1.1 million barrels per day to refineries and export terminals in Quebec in late 2017 and New Brunswick in 2018, Alberta and Saskatchewan would get a new home for their growing production.