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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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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

Judge TransCanada by their explosive record

Mark Calzavara | Council of Canadians - January 27th 2015

Blog Post: One year ago today, a TransCanada natural gas pipeline violently exploded near Otterburne, Manitoba. TransCanada has had four other catastrophic pipeline failures in the last fifteen months, causing the evacuation of hundreds of people and cutting off natural gas supplies to business and communities in the depths of winter. Now, TransCanada is seeking approval to build the largest pipeline in North America. Tell the Ontario Energy Board not to trust TransCanada’s record on pipeline safety here.

Energy East: The Great Canadian Migration

January 16th 2015

Visual: Working to protect the environment from devastating pollution can be heavy stuff. With our latest video on the risks of the Energy East pipeline, we thought we’d try to lighten things up a bit by asking: What would happen if Britain’s greatest nature explorer did a nature documentary on the migration of oil?

Oil pipeline projects face litany of challenges heading into 2015

Lauren Krugel | Canadian Press - December 21st 2014

Press Clipping: Once considered a rather ho-hum line of business, pipelines dominated much of the public discourse in 2014. In recent years, the debate has spread beyond the direct environmental impacts of putting steel in the ground into broader issues around anything from global climate change to First Nations rights. Although proposed projects from Alberta's oilsands to the east, west and U.S. Gulf Coasts made some progress over the past year, their prospects remain far from certain.

Include climate change when assessing pipeline projects, groups urge

Raveena Aulakh | Toronto Star - December 12th 2014

Press Clipping: More than 60 green and community groups are asking Canada’s National Energy Board to include climate change in its assessment of the $12-billion Energy East project, adding momentum to the push to have environmental factors taken into consideration for pipeline projects. “It is incomprehensible that we don’t assess pipeline projects for impact on climate change,” said Cam Fenton of 350.org. With the board set to review the application for the Energy East pipeline in the next couple of months, “this is the moment to have that conversation.”

Leaked study on Energy East details risks to Quebec Rivers

December 12th 2014

Blog Post: Quebec news outlet Le Devoir has acquired a leaked study regarding the risk of landslides near rivers along the path of TransCanada`s proposed Energy East pipeline project. The risk analysis prepared by Golder Associates is clear: The banks of several rivers could be made unstable where the controversial pipeline crosses them, increasing the risk of landslides.

Oilsands expansion, emissions and the Energy East pipeline

Erin Flanagan | Pembina Institute - December 4th 2014

Publication: The Pembina Institute has just published a new briefing note on the climate impacts of the Energy East pipeline and the link between pipelines, market access and greenhouse gas This backgrounder also dives in to the regulatory context in Alberta to make the case that Alberta's current carbon policy has done little to impact rising emissions in the oilsands. This analysis will be useful as we continue to push Ontario and Quebec on their fourth condition for the pipeline – specifically around the inclusion of "upstream" emissions in their provincial reviews.

For Alberta’s premier, the Energy East pipeline will be a tough sell in the east — as well it should

Tim Gray and Sidney Ribaux - December 2nd 2014

Press Clipping: Alberta Premier Jim Prentice is visiting Quebec and Toronto this week to try to sell the Energy East pipeline to his counterparts. The fact is he’s too late. Public demand and personal motivations have led the eastern premiers to wisely set out conditions to their agreement to support Energy East. These cannot be met, and presumably, they know it. Canadians know we need to take a deep breath and figure out how to solve these problems and use today’s wealth to transition our economy to one less dependent on fossil fuels.