Keystone XL pipeline project to cost tens of thousand of jobs

TORONTO, April 12 /CNW Telbec/ - The National Energy Board has approved a pipeline construction project - Keystone XL - that will result in tens of thousands of current and potential Canadian jobs being exported to Texas along with our oil, says Canada's energy union, which filed leave to appeal the decision on Friday.

"The oil and gas industry has decided that the enormous economic development associated with upgrading and refining oil sands resources will take place in Texas, not Canada," says Dave Coles, President of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada.

The Keystone XL pipeline construction project will export 900,000 barrels of oil per day to the US Gulf Coast -- most of which is unprocessed bitumen from the Alberta oil sands.

"This means the loss of tens of thousands of jobs in the Canadian oil upgrading and refining sector that either exist now, or that would have been created by projects that are likely to be cancelled as a result of the dramatic expansion of oil export pipeline capacity to upgraders and refineries in the U.S."

Keystone XL was opposed by CEP, the Alberta Federation of Labour, the Sierra Club, and also by Enbridge, Imperial Oil, BP and Nexen.

The companies argued that Keystone XL will create enormous excess export capacity, raise service costs on other pipelines, and increase input costs to Canadian refineries by US$600 million in 2013.

"Not only will this project abandon the enormous opportunity of creating a diversified Canadian oil and gas industry," says Coles, "but it will seriously undermine the viability of existing refineries.

"Astonishingly, the NEB has signed off on the industry's plan as being the Canadian public interest.

"The Board has abandoned its mandate to the entirely ill-founded notion that a deregulated export market is in the Canadian public interest."

The legal argument filed by CEP asserts that the NEB made several fundamental errors of law, and failed to properly exercise its mandate to protect the Canadian public interest.

The National Energy Board approved the Keystone XL pipeline project March 11, 2010, subject to the federal government giving it the final green light. CEP filed its appeal on April 9.

Keystone and its allies now have 20 days to respond to CEP's application. A decision from the Federal Court of Appeal on whether an appeal will be allowed is expected in May.

The 150,000-member CEP is Canada's largest union of energy workers, with about 35,000 members who work in the oil, gas and petro-chemical industries.

SOURCE Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

For further information: For further information: Dave Coles, (613) 299-5628

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Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

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