NEB should reject unsustainable Mackenzie gas project

Government refusal to implement panel recommendations undermines sustainability

EDMONTON— The National Energy Board should reject the Mackenzie Gas Project given the refusal of governments to implement independent panel recommendations for sustainability, Sierra Club Prairie said.

“The Mackenzie Gas Project is economically, socially and environmentally unsustainable,” said Sheila Muxlow, director of Sierra Club Prairie.  “The federal and Northwest Territories governments have rejected key recommendations of the Joint Review Panel that could have ensured that the Project generates net benefits for the North and for Canada.”

Sierra Club, represented by Ecojustice, set out its criticism in a Dec. 1 submission to the National Energy Board commenting on the response of the federal and Northwest Territories governments to the recommendations of the Joint Review Panel’s environmental assessment report. 

“The governments have rejected key recommendations from the joint review panel that were carefully designed to control cumulative impacts from induced development, ensure wise end-use of the delivered gas, and would have required independent reporting on government implementation,” said Keith Ferguson, Ecojustice staff lawyer.

“The NEB should not even consider licensing the Mackenzie Gar Project given that Imperial Oil and the other oil companies have not even stated their commitment to building it,” said Stephen Hazell, advisor to Sierra Club Prairie.

“Engineering and field work in the Mackenzie Valley stopped years ago, project offices have been shut down, and project staff were redeployed or laid off.  lmperial Oil has told the NEB that even pre-construction work would not commence any earlier than 2016.  Why license a project that is either dead or comatose?”