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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

Energy East: The risky pipeline bigger than Keystone XL

Adam Scott, Climate & Energy Program Manager | Environmental Defence - April 12th 2014

Blog Post: TransCanada’s controversial Keystone XL pipeline project generates a lot of headlines. But did you know another risky TransCanada project – even larger than Keystone – is on the horizon and could put hundreds of communities across Canada at risk of an oil spill? TransCanada’s Energy East is a pipeline plan to get tar sands oil from Alberta to the east coast, in one massive hail mary pass. Energy East is intended to export vast quantities of unrefined tar sands oil.

Why Ottawa can and should take action on the proposed Energy East pipeline

Ben Powless | Ecology Ottawa - April 9th 2014

Blog Post: At Ecology Ottawa, we’ve already heard from numerous residents in the City of Ottawa who are concerned about the proposed Energy East pipeline that would bring at least 1.1 million barrels-per-day (over 130 million litres) through the boundaries of the city, even passing under the Rideau River. Thousands of people have signed our petition, and the city has the responsibility to look out for the health and safety interests of its residents, which would be put at risk by the construction of the largest oil pipeline in North America.

Special Report: A Canadian family’s ‘Plan B’ to pump tar sands oil

BY Richard Valdmanis and Dave Sherwood and Dave Sherwood | Reuters - March 31st 2014

Press Clipping: Keystone XL, a pipeline proposal to pump Canadian oil sands through the heart of America, has alarmed environmentalists and become one of the most contentious issues of the Obama presidency. But there is a "Plan B" to cut the United States out of the picture, TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline proposal, and it is championed by one of Canada's wealthiest business dynasties.

Energy East an export pipeline, not about Canada’s energy needs


Gillian McEachern | Environmental Defence - March 25th 2014

Blog Post: If approved, TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline would carry 1.1 million barrels per day of oil, more than Keystone XL. Despite the rhetoric about the pipeline helping displace ‘foreign oil’ at eastern refineries and being a boon for jobs in the east, new research shows that most of the oil would be exported, unrefined.

Energy East pipeline claims overstated


Raveena Aulakh | Toronto Star - March 19th 2014

Press Clipping: Benefits from the proposed Energy East pipeline for eastern Canadian refineries are greatly exaggerated, four environmental groups say. “TransCanada has been talking about it as nation-building, and how important the project is to supply crude oil to refineries in Eastern Canada because right now, according to them, the vast majority of oil being used there is coming from foreign sources,” said Adam Scott of Environmental Defence. Its just not true.

TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline will export oil, not help Canadians


Andrea Harden-Donahue | Council of Canadians - March 19th 2014

Publication: When TransCanada first announced the Energy East pipeline a number of voices emerged trumpeting its benefits. TransCanada's CEO Russ Girling described the pipeline as "an historic opportunity to connect the oil resources of western Canada to the consumers of eastern Canada, creating jobs, tax revenue and energy security for all Canadians for decades to come." Sounds pretty great, eh? First let’s separate fact from fiction.

We should assess new pipelines like the Americans do

Claire Demerse | Pembina Institute - February 25th 2014

Blog Post: Not everyone thinks that pipelines lead to new carbon pollution. Some argue that the oil sands will be developed no matter what, so building a new pipeline has no impact on the pace of oil sands development. We’re not convinced. Energy East would increase the capacity of the pipeline network that carries crude out of western Canada by one-third. Crucially, this pipeline would carry oil sands to tidewater, where companies can load their crude onto tankers and sell it wherever it fetches the best price. Opening up the oil sands to world markets would make the economics of building new projects more compelling, which will lead to new oil sands production and the carbon pollution that comes with it.