03/26/2012 09:30 EDT | Updated 05/26/2012 05:12 EDT

Ship Alberta Oil To Atlantic, Senator Says


Refineries in Atlantic Canada should get the opportunity to process cheaper oil from Alberta, says P.E.I. Senator Mike Duffy.

Duffy was responding to an application from Enbridge to the National Energy Board to reverse the flow in an existing pipeline to bring oil from Alberta to Ontario. A company spokesperson says that if the market conditions are right, Enbridge might apply to get the oil to Montreal.

Duffy would like to see that happen, so Atlantic refineries could have the oil shipped from Montreal to their facilities in Atlantic Canada.

"What damage is done by reversing the flow in an existing pipeline, giving Atlantic Canada the opportunity to share in Canada's wealth and have a secure supply of petroleum?" he asked.

"It seems to me that if we can have a made-in-Canada energy policy from coast to coast to coast, that's to the benefit of all Canadians."

Eastern Canada now relies on oil from international sources, such as Venezuela and the Middle East. The cost of this oil tends to be about $20 a barrel higher than western Canadian crude.

A coalition of environmental groups, Ontario landowners and a First Nations group are opposing Enbridge's request for oil to flow west to east into Ontario.

Public hearings are scheduled to start in May.

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