Senate energy committee set to release findings of oil and gas report

OTTAWA – The Senate is set to present its findings on the safe transport of hydrocarbons by pipelines, tankers and rail cars in Canada.

Members of the Senate energy committee are holding a news conference today in Ottawa to discuss their study.

The study, launched last November, comes weeks after an oil-laden freight train jumped the tracks and exploded in the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic.

The disaster, which killed 47 people and led to a mass evacuation in the community of 6,000, has since prompted a criminal investigation and several lawsuits.

The study is also being released as Calgary-based TransCanada Corp. holds consultations over its proposed west-east oil pipeline.

The $12-billion Energy East pipeline would carry western crude oil all the way to the East Coast.

The company plans to convert roughly 3,000 kilometres of its natural gas main line to ship oil from Alberta to Quebec and build an additional 1,400 kilometres of new pipe to Saint John, N.B.

From there, the crude could feed Irving Oil’s massive refinery and be shipped offshore.

However, critics of the proposed pipeline say the potential environmental risks are too great.

The Senate declined to comment on the report ahead of its release.

Conservative Sen. Richard Neufeld and Liberal senators Grant Mitchell and Paul Massicotte will be on hand today to present the report’s findings.