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Canada’s federal court of appeal has sent TransCanada’s proposed gas back for redetermination by the National Energy Board (NEB), which had previously dismissed requests that the project be subject to federal, not provincial, approval.
The court ruled earlier this week that the NEB had made a mistake in determining that the project was not under federal jurisdiction when it sent the plan to provincial approval.
Michael Sawyer, a former environmental consultant, wanted the 900-km pipeline project to be considered to be under federal jurisdiction. After the NEB disagreed, Sawyer appealed the decision.
The appeals court ruling comes as a major blow to TransCanada, which even applied to proceed with construction of the North Montney Mainline (NMML) Project, contingent on a positive final investment decision on the proposed Pacific Northwest LNG (PNW) Project, which is being developed by Malaysia’s Petronas.
At that time, TransCanada said that “Subject to regulatory approvals, TransCanada plans to begin construction in the first half of 2018, with facilities being phased into service over a two-year period, beginning in April 2019.”
“The board had put a lot of weight on the fact that the pipeline begins and ends within British Columbia but didn’t take into account the jurisdictional consequences of the fact that the purpose of the Prince Rupert pipeline is to bring gas from the northeast of B.C. to Prince Rupert for export — and it’s that ‘for export’ that is a factor pointing to federal jurisdiction,” Sawyer’s lawyer, William Andrews, told The Northern View.
“I don’t think we should be exporting our natural resources, particularly energy resources, if we haven’t determined what’s in our public interest,” Sawyer said in a statement released by Skeena Wild Conservation Trust.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.