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Energy East

Energy East is a proposal by TransCanada Pipelines Limited to create a dangerous pipeline network stretching 4,500 km from southern Alberta to New Brunswick. TransCanada wants to use Energy East to transport 1.1 million barrels of toxic tar sands oil a day.

Energy East is not a “Made in Canada” oil solution. Energy East would be the largest oil pipeline project in North America, and would put hundreds of communities at risk of a tar sands oil spill like the one that devastated Mayflower, AK.

Little of the oil transported by Energy East would stay in Canada. Instead, between 750,000 and one million barrels of unrefined oil would be exported out of Canada every single day. That’s the equivalent of 50 Olympic-sized swimming pools of oil – every day.

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Overview:
TransCanada pipeline proposal to transport tar sands crude to New Brunswick 
Key Problems:
- Converting this aging natural gas pipeline to tar sands crude would make it prone to leaks and spills
- This pipeline ruptured and exploded in 1995, causing a huge fire
- Would put millions of Canadians in six provinces at risk of a tar sands oil spill 
Current Status:
Thousands of citizens and numerous city councils oppose this risky proposal

TransCanada’s proposal involves three main pieces.

First, it requires converting 3,000 km of an aging natural gas pipeline to carry tar sands oil. The existing natural gas pipeline runs from Alberta to eastern Ontario. Evidence indicates that converting a main natural gas pipeline to ship oil could increase the cost of natural gas for customers in Ontario and Quebec.

Energy East also requires the construction of new sections of pipeline, the largest of which would run from eastern Ontario more than 1,5400 km across southern Quebec to Saint John, New Brunswick. Along with the segment to be converted, this would mean millions of people in six provinces would be at risk of a tar sands oil spill.

Then there’s the construction of two oil export terminals, one planned for the south shore of the St. Lawrence River and one in Saint John, NB. This will increase the number of oil tankers plying the waters of the St. Lawrence River and the Atlantic Ocean, putting at risk maritime economies and communities from inevitable tar sands spills.

Despite TransCanada’s assurances about safety, the company has had many oil spills and safety problems with its pipelines. In 1995, the same natural gas pipeline that TransCanada intends to convert to tar sands oil ruptured, causing a huge explosion and fire in southern Manitoba. In 2011, the first phase of TransCanada’s Keystone pipeline spilled 12 times in its first year of operation, one of the worst first-year spill rates on record for a pipeline. One incident created a crude oil geyser six stories high. TransCanada had boasted about its “world class safety standards” and predicted a spill rate of only 1.4 times per decade.

Energy East Updates & Resources

Don’t build more pipelines

Feature

Tim Gray | Environmental Defence - February 26th 2015

Press Clipping: Federal politicians can’t have it both ways on climate. Far too many Canadian politicians hold the erroneous view that we can address climate change while, at the same time, growing the tar sands and their pipelines. We can’t. There is a direct link between the pipelines, tar sands expansion, and carbon emissions. Industry needs the pipelines to grow. Industry officials have said so on multiple occasions. The most direct way to address the environmental impacts of pipelines is, of course, not to build the pipelines. Building pipelines while smiling and talking soothingly about better listening won’t change the carbon emissions math.

Crude oil spill on the St. Lawrence would cost billions, report reveals

February 12th 2015

Blog Post: A new report by the Council of Canadians and Équiterre says that an oil spill in Lac Saint-Pierre on the St. Lawrence River would cost billions to clean up – far more than the liability limit in Canada. The report modeled the costs and damages from a spill of less than 10 per cent of the cargo of an Afromax class supertanker, a size of ship that recently received federal approval to ply the waters of the St. Lawrence River. According to the model, a spill of 10 million litres would cost $2.14 billion. The federal limit to liability for oil spills is $1.4 billion, leaving taxpayers on the hook for the difference.

Canada’s pipeline review process broken but still important, critics say

Derek Leahy | DeSmog Canada - February 11th 2015

Press Clipping: The National Energy Board (NEB), Canada’s federal pipeline regulator, has come under tremendous public criticism over the last three years for limiting public participation in its review of major oil pipeline proposals. In recent years the board has denied hundreds of Canadians an opportunity to voice their concerns on projects like Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline and Enbridge’s Line 9. TransCanada’s Energy East, Canada’s largest proposed oil pipeline, is the newest project to land on the NEB’s desk, and Canadians are preparing to apply in droves.

Ontario First Nations demand NEB halt Energy East review, seek consultation

Shawn McCarthy | Globe and Mail - February 6th 2015

Press Clipping: Ontario’s First Nations leaders are demanding the National Energy Board halt its review of TransCanada Corp.’s Energy East project until they can be properly consulted. In a letter to Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford, Ontario regional chief Stan Beardy said First Nations have “grave concern” about the NEB process, saying the board has been inaccessible and unwilling to share information with them.

Groups argue flawed assumptions in Energy East report behind “modest” climate impacts of pipeline

Derek Leahy | DeSmog Canada - February 5th 2015

Press Clipping: A panel of leading environmental groups expressed concern last week over findings in an Ontario Energy Board commissioned report that suggest oil tanker trains could replace TransCanada's proposed Energy East pipeline if the project isn't approved. “We believe the report makes a number of flawed assumptions on rail capacity, and actually goes beyond the oil industry’s own projections,” said Ben Powless, a panel presenter at the province's Energy East stakeholder meeting and pipeline community organizer for Ecology Ottawa.

100,000+ Canadians ask NEB to include climate change when reviewing Energy East pipeline

February 2nd 2015

Blog Post: More than 100,000 messages from people across Canada were hand delivered today to the National Energy Board's (NEB) office in Calgary demanding climate change be included in the NEB's review of the Energy East tar sands pipeline. It is the largest petition ever delivered to the National Energy Board. "Peter Watson, the head of the NEB, needs to listen to the tens of thousands of Canadians demanding the huge climate impacts of the Energy East tar sands pipeline be included as part of the pipeline review," said Mike Hudema, Climate and Energy campaigner with Greenpeace Canada.1

10-foot inflatable elephant reminds premiers of Energy East’s climate pollution

January 30th 2015

Blog Post: Local groups deployed a large inflatable elephant outside the hotel where premiers met today in Ottawa. The groups were calling attention to the premiers' refusal to evaluate the controversial Energy East pipeline’s climate pollution footprint. “There is a massive 32 megatonne climate pollution elephant sitting in on the premiers meeting,” says Andrea Harden-Donahue, Energy and Climate Justice Campaigner with the Council of Canadians. “Provincial leaders can’t be serious about addressing climate change and ignore this pipeline’s massive potential to drive up pollution.”