TransCanada moves ahead on Energy East pipeline

By Shawn McCarthy
Globe and Mail

TORONTO -- TransCanada is promoting its Energy East pipeline project to Canadians with a promise that it will create thousands of jobs across the country and pour billions of dollars into government coffers.

Earlier this week, the company released a Deloitte & Touche study on the economic impact of the $12-billion pipeline, which would bring about 1.1 million bpd of Western Canadian crude to refineries and export terminals in Quebec and New Brunswick.

As part of its effort to woo those in the pipeline's path, the TransCanada board met Tuesday in Fredericton -- the day after an evening session with New Brunswick Premier David Alward.

TransCanada CEO Russ Girling said the economic benefits will accrue right across the country, though the maximum job impact will occur during the three-year construction phase from 2016 to 2018, when it hits 7,729 full-time-equivalent positions each year.

"The project will help support thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in government tax revenues over the short- and long-term life of the project," Mr. Girling said on a conference call.

"This project makes sense for all Canadians, and this new study helps us understand why that is the case," Mr. Girling said.

The company has been widely accused by critics of inflating job-creation forecasts on its other major pipeline project, the Keystone XL line in the US, which would ship crude from Alberta 's oil sands to refineries on the US Gulf Coast but is being held up by environmental concerns. US President Barack Obama dismissed the expected jobs impact of the Keystone XL project as inconsequential.

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