Mayor Tara Veer is reframing the discussion about the heavily debated Energy East Pipeline during a senate standing committee meeting for transport and communication in Edmonton today on behalf of Red Deer City council.
Right now, the fate of the Energy East Pipeline Project, which aims to transport approximately 1.1 million barrels of crude oil per day from Alberta and Saskatchewan to refineries in Eastern Canada, is unknown.
Veer is speaking to delegates today, not about whether we should or shouldn’t transport these resources via the Energy East Pipeline, but about how best to safely transport Canadian resources to domestic and international markets while considering environmental responsibility, economic stability, diversification, ethical responsibilities and good government.
“Getting these resources to market is absolutely necessary,” she said. “And, the question before our country shouldn’t be to pipeline or not to pipeline, but rather, what is the best means of safely transporting products to market and how can we mitigate any risks associated with the preferred means.”
The central region is the fourth largest conventional oil producing region in Alberta and the seventh largest overall oil producer. Red Deer is well known for oilfield production services, and the region’s competitive expertise in the oil and gas sector is a source of innovation, but according to Veer, this isn’t just about Red Deer.
“All orders of government continue to build economies and communities fueled by energy, and yet some communities continue to state their opposition to energy be transported through their border on environmental grounds. Energy is already being transported through every jurisdiction in our country, it is only a question of how,” said Veer. “Energy East is critical to ensuring a strong Red Deer, Alberta and Canada and City council believes it can be done in both an environmental and fiscally responsible way.”
City council supported the Energy East Pipeline through resolution and received unanimous support from the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA). Veer challenged the transport and communications committee to protect the regional interests of Canada and consider how we can safely transport our resources east to west, not if we can.
The Alberta Urban Municipalities Association is seeking support for the Energy East Pipeline. If approved, it is expected that Alberta would see approximately 14,000 jobs annually during a nine year period with exponentially increasing economic benefits as a result of its development.
The Energy East Pipeline is a $15.8 billion project by TransCanada.