In February the National Energy Board issued an abysmal Comprehensive Study Report on TQM's PNGTS Extension project which concluded that the project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.
In March the report was rubber-stamped by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, and then, over the protests of landowners and more than 1,500 other citizens of our region, signed by Christine Stewart, Federal Minister of the Environment.
And that's how it was that the National Energy Board announced their approval for the PNGTS Extension. Spirits at TQM soared and they expressed their delight with the decision.
TQM spirits are certainly hovering a lot closer to the ground these days after two recent events, both of which have the potential to significantly influence the outcome of the PNGTS Extension saga.
First, in response to an appeal by the Coalition of Landowners Concerned by a Pipeline over the way the Coalition was treated by a CPTAQ Administrative Tribunal, the Quebec Court gave the Coalition leave to seek an appeal of the CPTAQ's decision (which was released by the CPTAQ after the Coalition launched the original appeal).
Second, Union Gas, a transporter of natural gas and opponent of the tolling method approved by the NEB for the PNGTS Extension project is seeking a clarification by the National Energy Board concerning the ruling it made on the tolling of the PNGTS Extension.
According to Union, NEB's Reasons for Decision in the PNGTS Extension hearings doesn't really give any reasons and it ignores evidence presented during the hearings.
As a customer of TransCanada Pipelines, Union is not happy abut footing its share of the 100 million dollar bill occasioned by PNGTS project promoters' last-minute decision to go through Quebec instead of Vermont. There's a strong odor of "let's make a deal" in the air, but one supposes that when giants fight there is at least the possibility of serious injury occuring.
One can only hope.
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