Tar Sands Solutions Network

Join Us On:

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.

Learn More

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: Issues around tourism and natural gas (in French)

October 17th 2014

Press Clipping: This is a fantastic and important article (Radio-Canada, French), where the media finally starts to talk about the other important economic impacts of Energy East, like tourism along the Saint Lawrence River. The article looks at tourism, along with the natural gas supply issue, as examples of economic impacts on the other side of the ledger than those TransCanada usually talks about.

Opposition builds to Energy East pipeline plan

Shawn McCarthy | Globe and Mail - October 14th 2014

Press Clipping: TransCanada Corp. faces a rough ride in Central Canada over its proposed $11-billion Energy East pipeline as industrial users and natural-gas distribution companies warn they’ll be short-changed by the company’s plan to switch the pipeline from gas to oil. Both Quebec and Ontario governments plan to intervene in the National Energy Board review, and both provincial governments are being urged to defend their natural gas customers who say their interests are being sacrificed to western oil producers.

Energy East 101

October 14th 2014

Visual: Energy East 101, a four-minute handimation gives a comprehensive background on the controversial Energy East pipeline proposed by TransCanada. The video is narrated in English by Maude Barlow, author and national chairperson of the Council of Canadians, and in French by Quebec-based activist Steven Guilbeault from Equiterre.

Energy East is not a done deal

Cameron Fenton | 350.org Canada - October 14th 2014

Blog Post: Back in 2010, a chorus of government officials and industry voices assured the world that the Keystone XL pipeline was on the verge of being built. Then Secretary of State Hilary Clinton called the project a "done deal." Now, nearly five years later, stacks of pipeline along the route are gathering dust and costing TransCanada millions of dollars. Energy East is far from a done deal. In fact, the project has yet to be formally applied for and is already facing rising opposition.

Energy East “All Risk, Little Reward” Tour coming to a town near you

October 1st 2014

Blog Post: The Council of Canadians is working with local partners to visit communities in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to talk about why TransCanada’s proposed Energy East pipeline is all risk and little reward for Atlantic Canada. From October 27 to November 6, the Council of Canadians and local partners will visit communities in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to talk about why TransCanada’s proposed Energy East pipeline is all risk and little reward for Atlantic Canada.

People’s Climate March images for your use and enjoyment

September 26th 2014

Visual: TSSN is a service to the movement, so we sent a team of media makers to the People's Climate March to capture images for you. Have a look at these albums for photos capturing a few major events over the course of last weekend in New York. If you ever need an image for a blog post, social media graphic, press kit, etc. and so on, please use these freely!

How the People’s Climate March in NYC is reinventing the climate movement

Joseph Boutilier and Alex Guest | Council of Canadians - September 26th 2014

Blog Post: The People’s Climate March was a turning point in the struggle for climate justice because it showcased the growing unity of communities that have rarely been seen on the same side. Indigenous communities who are resisting the fossil fuel industry marched with labour unions, students with seniors, scientists and faith leaders held up banners together, and everyone followed the lead of the frontline communities most affected by climate injustice. It is a story of global people power and what can happen when we choose to see our mutual humanity in the faces of strangers.

Coast Guard: We can’t adequately respond to Great Lakes heavy oil spill


Keith Matheny | Detroit Free Press - September 11th 2014

Press Clipping: The U.S. Coast Guard and other responders are not adequately equipped or prepared for a “heavy oil” spill on the Great Lakes, according to a Coast Guard commander who is pushing for action. A major oil spill from one of the proposed tar sands pipelines could spell economic disaster for the states in the Great Lakes region, severely damaging the multibillion-dollar fishing and recreational boating industries and killing off wildlife.