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Quebec, Montreal officials applaud Energy East pipeline cancellation


"We are proud of the hard work and commitment to the Energy East project shown by our employees and TransCanada over the last four years", said Whitcomb.

"I could be at the grocery store, I could be at the coffee shop, and people would constantly stop or say to me "protect our drinking water".

Pipeline company TransCanada said Thursday it's cancelling a plan to build a pipeline that would ship 1.1 million barrels of oil per day from Western Canada to the Atlantic coast.

The Calgary-based company said previously it was suspending its efforts to get regulatory approvals for the mega projects.

"Moving away from fossil fuels will, by leaps and bounds, out-match the oil industry".

The energy company has also canned its Eastern Mainline project.

"Our government would have used the same process to evaluate the Energy East Pipeline project that saw the Trans Mountain expansion and Line 3 projects approved".

The project has opened deep rifts in political circles, with New Brunswick and Alberta premiers expressing disappointment Thursday and Quebec politicians like Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre celebrating its demise.

TransCanada's decision is also a blow to the ailing economy of New Brunswick province, where the pipeline would have terminated. It says it will for the first time consider the public interest impact of upstream and downstream GHG emissions from potential increased production and consumption of oil resulting from the project.

Canada's National Energy Board (NEB) granted TransCanada a 30-day suspension on September 8, after the company said it needed to review the impact of new assessment criteria that would consider the C$15.7 billion ($12.58 billion) project's indirect greenhouse gas contributions.

The $15B project would have carried crude oil from Alberta to refineries in the Maritimes.

The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association and others blamed TransCanada's decision on Ottawa's "unclear decision-making process".

While Energy East's collapse may cost Trudeau support in the traditionally conservative oil heartland of Alberta it is likely to prove popular in the eastern province of Quebec, which has far more parliamentary seats and where pipeline opposition from politicians and environmental groups had been stiff.

In its news release, TransCanada said it will record a non-cash charge of about $1 billion in its fourth-quarter results to account for funds invested in the failed venture.

"The abandonment of the Energy East project is a major victory for the municipal world", Coderre wrote.

"That said, we do have a position in all other pipeline projects, and no single pipeline will impact our ability to grow", Seetal said.

TransCanada shares were essentially flat at about $61 on the Toronto Stock Exchange as of mid-morning.

Analysts say regulatory fatigue is to blame for ending the proposed Maritimes to Rockies pipeline.

The company said the decision came after a "careful review of changed circumstances".

"This project was so wrong and so risky, its hard to believe it was seriously contemplated", Gretchen Fitzgerald, national program director of environmental organization the Sierra Club, said.

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