Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) announced Friday that the panel considering TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline is quitting in order to preserve the board’s integrity, according to a statement made by the NEB.
Several opponents of the board demanded that two of the three members resign after it was discovered that they had discussed the proposed pipeline with former Quebec Premier Jean Charest, a consultant at the time for TransCanada.
The board says the members had talked to Charest in good faith but understand it could have created worries of lack of objectivity regarding the consideration of the pipeline.
Hearings on the pipeline will now be suspended until the NEB can name another panel, dragging out an already long process for review of the pipeline. The NEB currently has until March 16, 2018 to make a final report on the project.
TransCanada’s Energy East is a roughly 2,850-mile pipeline that would carry 1.1 million barrels of crude oil per day from Alberta and Saskatchewan to refineries in Eastern Canada.