NEB decision puts US energy needs first, union

OTTAWA, July 15, 2013 /CNW/ - Canada's largest energy workers' union is very disappointed that the National Energy Board has rejected a request by the last remaining refinery on Canada's West coast to be granted "priority destination" status for shipments of Alberta crude.

"The NEB's decision will see Canadian oil flow to the US when a Canadian refinery is being starved of supply," says Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union President Dave Coles.

Chevron had asked the NEB for its Burnaby refinery to be declared a Designated Priority Destination (DPP) so that it will have enough crude oil to operate.  The company is attempting to meet its supply needs by ensuring that it has first call on oil flowing through the TransMountain Pipeline from Northern BC and Alberta. Chevron's Burnaby refinery is running out of crude to process due to increased direct exports to several refineries in Washington State, which use their large size to overbid for pipeline capacity.

"The NEB's decision will allow large US refiners to continue gamming the system at the expense of a Canadian refinery that has been relying upon the pipeline as its primary source of supply for 60 years," says Coles.

"The NEB's denial of Chevron's request for priority access to pipeline flows puts 250 value added Canadian refining jobs in jeopardy", says Coles.

"The NEB has created a distorted market to the prejudice of the only Canadian refinery receiving oil from the TransMountain Pipeline", says Coles. "But it is even worse than that as the NEB exacerbated the Burnaby refinery's problems when it previously allowed TransMountain Pipeline to siphon off a greater portion of scarce pipeline flows for export."

"The NEB has failed to protect the public interest and ensure Canadian energy security," says Coles.

The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada represents 35,000 members employed in oil and gas extraction, transportation, refining, and conversion in the petrochemical and plastics sectors, and 110,000 members in total.

SOURCE: COMMUNICATIONS, ENERGY AND PAPERWORKERS UNION OF CANADA

For further information:

Dave Coles, National President, dcoles@cep.ca, cell: (613) 299-5628

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COMMUNICATIONS, ENERGY AND PAPERWORKERS UNION OF CANADA

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