"It's a blow. It's being portrayed as a business decision but it's more than that", said Chris Bloomer, CEO of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, adding the decision means about 400,000 barrels per day of foreign oil will continue to be imported into Eastern Canada.
The National Energy Board ended up suspending the hearings into the proposed 4,500-kilometre pipeline and selecting a new panel.
He added that TransCanada will also withdraw from a Quebec environmental review.
"Given increasing public interest in GHG emissions, together with increasing governmental actions and commitments (including the federal government's stated interest in assessing upstream GHG emissions associated with major pipelines), the Board is of the view that it should also consider indirect GHG emissions in its [National Energy Board] Act public interest determination for each of the Projects".
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says her government has always supported Energy East because of the new jobs, investments and markets it would create.
Canada's Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr said the cancellation was a business decision by TransCanada given oil market conditions had changed since the pipeline was first proposed.
Meanwhile, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre celebrated the Energy East announcement, suggesting in a series of tweets that citizen groups and local politicians from the Montreal-area played a key role in putting a stop to the project.
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Energy East would have given oil producers in Alberta and Saskatchewan, who are heavily dependent on buyers in the US, another market for their crude by carrying about 1.1 million barrels a day to refineries and a marine-shipping terminal in eastern Canada. Crude oil prices have slipped near $50 a barrel and other commodities are weaker as the US dollar found its footing. "We still believe that", Gallant said.
In a statement on Thursday, TransCanada president Russ Girling said the decision comes "after careful review of changed circumstances".
Wall said Coderre's criticism of the environmental risks of the pipeline is hypocritical considering his administration oversaw dumping billions of litres of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence Seaway. "Make no mistake, other companies' decisions to invest in Canada will be informed by this debacle". The company said back then that it wanted to review the National Energy Board's August decision to toughen the pipeline project assessment procedure.
"Moving away from fossil fuels will, by leaps and bounds, out-match the oil industry".
Heurtel asked TransCanada Pipelines to supply a report on the environmental impact of Energy East in Quebec.
The company will take a $1 billion after-tax non-cash charge that will be recorded in the company's fourth-quarter results.
"This project was so wrong and so risky, its hard to believe it was seriously contemplated", Gretchen Fitzgerald, national program director of environmental organization the Sierra Club, said.