07/26/2012 02:31 EDT | Updated 09/25/2012 05:12 EDT

Ghiz pitches for east-west pipeline

P.E.I. Premier Robert Ghiz battled over the noise about the Northern Gateway pipeline in British Columbia to make a pitch to get oil from Alberta in the Maritimes.

Ghiz told a media briefing he wants to see an east-west pipeline bring unrefined Alberta crude to eastern Canada.

Enbridge has applied to the National Energy Board to reverse the flow of an existing pipeline to bring crude as far as Ontario. Enbridge plans to apply this fall to continue the flow of that crude through to Montreal. From there, it could be shipped to Saint John for refining.

New Brunswick Premier David Alward also spoke in favour of the idea Wednesday, and Conservative Senator Mike Duffy of P.E.I. has also been lobbying for it.

Currently eastern Canada relies on oil from international sources, and the cost of that is about $20 a barrel more than oil from Alberta.

Enbridge would like to see oil flowing west-to-east as early as 2014, but it has to get regulatory approval first. A coalition of environmental groups, Ontario landowners and a First Nation are fighting Enbridge's request.