SAINT JOHN, N.B.—Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the proposed Energy East pipeline will do more than just transport Alberta’s oil to world markets, as it will also provide energy security throughout the country.
Harper visited the Irving Oil refinery in Saint John Aug. 8, where he said the TransCanada project would build a large domestic market that would benefit Eastern Canadians.
Some experts have expressed doubt that the pipeline would have much impact on the Atlantic Canadian fuel market, saying that energy companies are eager to ship their oil at the port in Saint John, N.B., because it would enable them to access more lucrative markets overseas by tanker.
While acknowledging that the project must still clear regulatory hurdles, the prime minister has praised the project in several provinces, most recently during a trip to Quebec City.
The Energy East pipeline would deliver up to 1.1 million barrels per day from Western Canada to refineries and export terminals in Quebec in late 2017 and Saint John a year later.
The $12-billion project has the support of the Alberta and New Brunswick governments, but the minority Parti Quebecois government of Pauline Marois has remained noncommittal on the proposal.