Federal Court upholds NEB's denial of SE2 power line application
VANCOUVER, BC-The Federal Court of Canada has unanimously upheld the National Energy Board's decision to deny an application by Sumas Energy 2 (SE2) to build an international power line into Canada running through Abbotsford, BC. The decision represents a victory for the British Columbia government, which has spent nearly $1.5 million fighting the SE2 proposal since 2001. The NEB ruling, in March 2004, said there would be few, if any, benefits to Canada from the project while virtually all the negative consequences would be borne by Canadians. "This is great news and recognizes the importance of British Columbia being able to regulate and manage its airsheds," provincial Environment Minister Barry Penner commented. The Federal court rejected SE2's argument that the NEB overstepped its jurisdiction in considering the environmental impacts a U.S. power plant would have on Canada. Its decision also dismissed SE2's argument that the NEB decision was arbitrarily influenced and violated the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).