OTTAWA, March 14 /CNW Telbec/ - The Communications, Energy and
Paperworkers Union of Canada has petitioned the Conservative federal cabinet
to overturn two controversial National Energy Board (NEB) decisions to allow
exports of unprocessed bitumen to the United States.
"Canada's National Energy Board is sleep-walking through the re-drawing
of the energy map of North America," said CEP National President Dave Coles.
"These pipeline approvals undermine our energy security and make Canada's tar
sands little more than a giant open pit to extract bitumen on behalf of
"These pipelines put at risk Canadian upgrading in Alberta and refinery
expansions in Ontario and Quebec. The NEB said it didn't care- we want to know
if Government of Canada is also willing to turn its back on Canadian energy
security and jobs."
At issue are two Enbridge Pipelines Ltd. pipeline projects:
- The Alberta Clipper may send up to 450,000 barrels per day of bitumen
to the US Midwest with future extensions reaching to the US Gulf Coast,
and the capacity of this pipeline can be doubled.
- The Southern Lights pipeline, described by some as a "bitumen export
machine" brings "diluents" from the US to Alberta to be mixed with
bitumen so that it can be piped to US refineries.
As the CEP submission to cabinet describes the Enbridge pipeline projects
together with the previously approved TransCanada Keystone pipeline are
capable of tripling the export of unprocessed bitumen to the U.S. bringing
totals to 1.5 million barrels per day. These export levels will inevitably
cause the cancellation or postponement of Canadian upgrading projects that
would otherwise be capable of handling the entire output from the tar sands
The NEB rejected CEP proposals for expanding pipeline capacity to Eastern
Canada, which now relies largely on off shore oil supplies. "The NEB is
obviously much more concerned with U.S. energy needs than it is those of
Canadians, that is an outrageous betrayal of their mandate to uphold the
Canadian public interest." said Coles.
CEP's petition to cabinet, as well as the previous petition to cabinet on
the Keystone Pipeline, are posted on-line at www.cep.ca.
For further information:
For further information: Dave Coles, National President, (613) 299-5628;
Fred Wilson, Assistant to the President, (613) 327-3044