Fredericton – New Brunswick's new prime minister is trying to revive the "Energy East" gas pipeline – although the original proposer says the project is dead.
Transcadda Corporation left the $ 15.7 billion project more than a year ago after the National Energy Council changed the environmental assessment process.
But Prime Minister Blaise Higgs, along with some other prime ministers and federal politicians, are pushing the proposed pipeline again as a way to get more western crude oil in refineries in East Canada and export to foreign markets.
Ontario and Quebec also have new selected new premieres this year, and Higgs said he believes the energy East could be viable.
"The fact that Ontario said that they are not opposed to the oil that originates across the province has an obstacle that it does not have now. We know that Manitoba and Saskatchewan are all right and we know that Alberta wants a way out," Higgs said.
"We see that Alberta now takes a strong position with the purchase of rail cars and saying that we must sell the oil on the market because they lose 80 million dollars a day."
Higgs said he acknowledged that Quebec could still be an obstacle and that this week plans to discuss the project with Prime Minister François Legult at the first meeting of ministers in Montreal.
"We are talking about cross-selling trade, there are some key issues, and that's one for us. It's important for our province, we need some victories," Higgs said.
Higgs said he had discussed the energy issue two weeks ago with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He said Trudou said he would be ready to discuss this matter again, if Higgs managed to attract Québec.
But the biggest hurdle may be again interested in Transkanada. The company cited regulatory changes and "altered circumstances" as the reason for its withdrawal last year.
In a statement, Terry Chunha, Communications Manager for Transkanada, said their position had not changed.
"We have no plans to re-examine the project. We are focused on developing more than $ 36 billion in commercially secured gas and electricity projects we currently have across North America, including the" Keystone XL "and the Coastal Project GasLink in BC " writes.
Higgs said he was not surprised by the position of Calgary-based firm.
"If you spend $ 800 million and you are separating politically, so decisions are not taken, instead it is delayed, and … then suddenly the rules change in the middle of the stream, and then you have no way," said Higgs.
"I do not blame them, nor will I jump on the band."
However, Higgs said he believes that if a holding company that was applied to the National Energy Board is formed and the process is well underway, then Transkanada could be ready to go back.
Federal conservative leader Andrew Shir was also a major supporter of the energy East and said the federal conservative government would try to revive the project.
Alberta Prime Minister Rachel Notley said last week the re-start of the project has a lot of sense.
"Our government will be very interested, of course, in any effort that was directed to another project to get our product to tidewater, as well as supply the Canadian market if we can find a way to make it more efficient," she said for journalists in Ottawa.
"Quite frankly, it's quite perverse that we sell our oil in Alberta for $ 10 a barrel, and then we import from eastern Canada from places like Saudi Arabia. It does not make sense."
The energy of the East would have seen most of the western crude going to the Irving Oil Refinery in St. John.
Higgs said he has yet to discuss the revival of the energy source with Irving, where he has been working for more than three decades and retired as CEO before entering politics.
"I know that their interest would still be there because they would have given away at least 100,000 barrels per day to foreign raw materials, maybe more. That commitment would still be there because they are still in operation and they are still buying foreign crude oil "he said.
But New Brunswick's green leader, David Kun, said Higgs should shift to 180 degrees – and instead demand a reduction in dependence on fossil fuels.
"The World Meteorological Organization has just published a study that if we continue to follow the path we are following now, we will burn the past of the Treaty of Paris and reach three to five degrees of warming, which is catastrophic," he said.
But a study from the Canadian Energy Research Institute – published in January – concluded that refiners in Central and Atlantic Canada would see lower costs of supplying and reducing greenhouse gas emissions if they purchased more Canadian crude oil.
The study found that replacing Canadian oil, where possible, using space on existing pipelines, rail vehicles and ocean tankers, would result in a 47 percent reduction in East China's oil imports to 47 percent, which would save $ 210 million a year, and equivalent to more than two million tonnes of carbon dioxide, or about 5.7 percent.