In addition to concerns about the environmental impact, questions are being raised about whether the economic impact of the Energy East plan to convert a natural gas pipeline to carry oil will be positive.
A recent Globe and Mail article suggested Energy East would result in higher costs for natural gas in Ontario and Québec. This could result in the cancellation of plans for a $1.5 billion fertilizer plant in Québec.
The Alberta Federation of Labour has expressed concern that, without a plan to ensure oil is refined in Canada, the pipeline conversion will increase Canada's problem with exporting low-cost raw materials and importing higher value finished products.
These questions about Energy East are yet another reminder of the problems of making decisions that will have a significant impact on the economy without the framework of a modern industrial strategy.