Property investors prep for showdown with energy titans

The proposal to reverse pipeline 9B in Ontario to run Alberta crude east to Montreal is highlighting the growing showdown between property investors and oil and gas companies.


A report from a consulting firm specializing in energy economics -- written in collaboration with Greenpeace -- argues “the economic benefits these pipelines would have for Quebec are minimal and outweigh the risks of transporting these materials into the province.”


That echoes the opinion of many property developers in Northern Ontario as the real estate market there is buoyed an strong mining sector.


They worry any growth in the number of pipelines crisscrossing the region would cancel any future plans for more urban development as their economies grow.


Enbridge says it wants to now expand the 9B pipeline and reverse it in Ontario to run eastward into Montreal and carry heavier oilsands crude, but also lighter crude.


Fans of the proposal believe it will benefit Quebec’s economy, creating new jobs and lowering fuel prices.


Still, that new, critical report argues the opposite.


“The economical benefits for Quebec are really small or almost none with this project, and it’s even worse when we’re talking about the Energy East pipeline, which will create about 200 direct jobs on the long term. For a $12 million project, this is really insignificant,” Greenpeace Climate and Energy campaigner Patrick Bonin said.

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