CALGARY — Canada's national energy regulator says it will for the first time consider the impact of upstream and downstream emissions from potential increased consumption of oil at hearings into the Energy East Pipeline.
The National Energy Board says the decision is based in part on 820 public submissions it received since last spring.
It says it will also for the first time consider the effect of meeting government greenhouse gas emission targets on the financial viability and need for the pipeline.
Previously, the NEB only considered GHG emissions directly associated with construction and operation of the pipeline.
The NEB will now invite public comment on the completeness of TransCanada's applications before issuing a hearing schedule.
The board invited public input last spring on topics that should be considered during upcoming hearings, including the issue of greenhouse gas emissions related to increased consumption of oil from completion of the 4,500-kilometre conduit.
The original Energy East review was derailed in September 2016 after members of the regulatory panel overseeing the hearings resigned amid questions about a potential conflict of interest.
In January, the NEB invalidated nearly two years of decisions made by the previous panel, a setback for TransCanada's (TSX:TRP) $15.7-billion development, and a new panel was appointed.
Energy East as proposed would carry 1.1 million barrels of crude per day from Alberta and Saskatchewan to refineries in Eastern Canada and an export marine terminal in New Brunswick.
The Energy East review is taking place at the same time that the government considers a sweeping overhaul of the NEB following a report in May that said the system is broken and the NEB should be split into two agencies.