Tar Sands Solutions Network

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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

Canada’s indigenous bands rise up against a tar sands pipeline


Jim Robbins | Yale E360 - December 4th 2015

Press Clipping: TransCanada, the company behind the now-defunct Keystone XL, is proposing another pipeline that would ship Alberta tar sands oil to Canada’s Atlantic coast. But fierce opposition from First Nation communities could derail this controversial project. "The endless expansion of the fossil fuel industry is the thing that makes the math of climate change impossible," climate activist Bill McKibben said. "And we're fighting that tooth and nail."

First Nations inspired by B.C. in battle against Energy East

Mychaylo Prystupa | National Observer - October 4th 2015

Press Clipping: Indigenous leaders from across Canada are forming a new national political alliance to support opposition to TransCanada's Energy East pipeline. The coalition of chiefs hopes to share B.C.'s lessons for thwarting oil sands pipelines with bands from the Prairies and Eastern Canada. Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba First Nations chiefs voted unanimously at a Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs conference on Wednesday in Vancouver to develop strategies to work together to oppose Energy East, which they see as an unacceptable risk to their lands and waterways. A first-of-its kind “Indigenous Treaty” is also in the works to tackle oil sands expansion in general.

Energy East a no go, Laval tells CMM commissioners


Martin C. Barry | Lavalnews.ca - October 3rd 2015

Press Clipping: In keeping with a fundamental guideline adopted by the City of Laval last year to base all future development on a model grounded in environmental sustainability, Mayor Marc Demers told a panel of environmental commissioners for the Montreal region earlier this week that the city will not put up with the Energy East pipeline passing through Laval’s territory. Addressing a hearing last Wednesday in Laval, Demers led off a reading of the city’s memorandum to the commissioners by stating that the principal reason for Laval’s opposition “resides in the fact that the City of Laval wishes to preserve the security of its citizens and the protection of the environment on its territory.”

Energy East an unacceptable risk to Bay of Fundy

Editors | Tar Sands Solution Network - September 16th 2015

Press Clipping: The heads of Canada’s leading environmental groups stood alongside First Nations and local fishers on Mispec Beach, New Brunswick, near the Bay of Fundy to call for the rejection of the Energy East pipeline and tanker proposal. “Energy East would bring almost 300 more tankers to the Bay of Fundy every year, putting whales at risk from propeller strikes and noise pollution,” said Tim Gray of Environmental Defence. “The Bay of Fundy is home to many highly endangered whales – heavy tanker traffic or spills will only harm them.”

Laval, Quebec’s third-largest city, rejects Energy East pipeline


Editors | Tar Sands Solution Network - September 12th 2015

Blog Post: Équiterre salutes the decision by Laval mayor Marc Demers to oppose the TransCanada’s Energy East project. The mayor invoked many reasons for the decision including the security of the population and the protection of the environment as well as risks of oil spills near the city’s water sources. Équiterre also welcomes the mayor’s decison to create and lead a vast coalition of municipalities and organisations opposed to the project.

Energy East pipeline threatens endangered whales and sea life


August 20th 2015

Blog Post: The Conservation Council of New Brunswick recently released a report warning that the proposed Energy East pipeline will have serious consequences for whales and other sea life in the Bay of Fundy and the Gulf of Maine. Increased tanker traffic would stress the most endangered whale species in the world, and any leaks or spills would endanger the Bay of Fundy’s important fishing industry.

Pipelines: In Election 2015, which party has the best policy?


Editorial Board | Globe and Mail - August 19th 2015

Press Clipping: As Conservative Leader Stephen Harper pointed out during the first leaders debate, the oil industry is only a small part of the Canadian economy. (Yes, he really said that. Yes, he’s right.) And the pipelines that move oil are, economically speaking, only a small part of that small part. Yet pipelines have become the flashpoint. A whole series of debates over global warming, carbon emissions, oil spills and even jobs have been reduced to battles over pipe. So where does each of the parties stand on pipelines?