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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

Premiers Wynne and Couillard set seven criteria for Energy East


Adrian Morrow | Globe and Mail - November 27th 2014

Press Clipping: TransCanada Corp. must consider the effect of the Energy East pipeline on global warming if it wants Ontario and Quebec to give the $12-billion project their blessing. That requirement was one of seven Premiers Kathleen Wynne and Philippe Couillard agreed to jointly impose in a meeting of their two cabinets in Toronto on Friday.“Alberta needs to move its resources across the country, and we want to work with Alberta,” Ms. Wynne told reporters after emerging from the session at the Royal York Hotel. “But we also recognize … we have to protect people in Ontario and Quebec.”

Prentice, Ottawa to press Wynne, Couillard on Energy East

Shawn McCarthy | Globe and Mail - November 24th 2014

Press Clipping: The Alberta and federal governments are planning a new push to persuade skeptics in Central Canada that a proposed $12-billion oil pipeline will deliver them more benefits than it will pose risks. Alberta Premier Jim Prentice plans to travel to Quebec City and Toronto in early December to meet Quebec and Ontario premiers, who last week spelled out a joint list of seven criteria that TransCanada Corp.’s Energy East project must satisfy to secure their support.

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois donates prize money to anti-pipeline movement


November 24th 2014

Press Clipping: Former student activist Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois is donating the money he won for his Governor General’s Literary Award to a group fighting against the TransCanada Energy East pipeline. “We have a very, very important choice to make around that very controversial Energy East TransCanada pipeline,” Nadeau-Dubois told CBC’s Daybreak. Nadeau-Dubois's donation sparked a fundraising effort that raised $350,000 in just three days.

Poll shows few Quebecers support Energy East pipeline


Monique Beaudin | Montreal Gazette - November 20th 2014

Press Clipping: Only a third of Quebecers support the controversial Energy East oil pipeline project, according to a poll conducted by researchers at the Université de Montréal. But it is a different situation outside the province. Nationally, half of Canadians support the project, with 68 per cent of Albertans favouring the pipeline, the poll found. The U de M poll results come the day after TransCanada’s communications plan to win over Quebecers and silence critics were leaked. The company’s strategic plan devoted to Quebec, dated May 20, calls for recruiting “third parties” to “build an echo chamber of aligned voices” in favour of the project.

P.R. firm urges TransCanada to target opponents of its Energy East pipeline

Ian Austen | New York Times - November 18th 2014

Press Clipping: Ben Powless, the antipipeline campaigner at Ecology Ottawa, said he was somewhat surprised that Edelman, the largest independent public relations firm based on revenues, would be concerned about his small group’s influence. Ecology Ottawa has about nine paid employees and mainly relies on volunteers who tend to be students and retirees. “To me, it’s a smear campaign really trying to shut down the voices of local people who have legitimate concerns.”

Pipeline alert from federal regulator is first of its kind

Elizabeth Douglass | InsideClimate News - November 18th 2014

Press Clipping: Reversing oil and natural gas pipelines or switching the product they're carrying can have a "significant impact" on the line's safety and integrity—and "may not be advisable" in some cases, federal regulators told pipeline companies in a recent advisory. The alert is the first time the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has officially cautioned the industry about potential safety threats from restarting, reversing or reworking pipelines to handle Canadian tar sands oil and the surge in U.S. oil and natural gas supplies. If not handled properly, those changes can increase the risk of pipeline leaks and ruptures, the Sept. 12 notice said.

Exposing Energy East: People and places at risk by TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline proposal

November 16th 2014

Blog Post: TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline plan threatens some of Canada’s most pristine wilderness and wildlife. Exposing Energy East is an online photography exhibit that turns the lens on the exquisite landscapes put at risk by the pipeline, and shines the light on the concerns of people, from farmers to fisherman, who live along the pipeline’s proposed route. Taken together, the images remind us that these are real places and real communities at risk across Canada.

TransCanada hits whale-sized snag on Energy East

Nicolas Van Praet | Globe and Mail - November 7th 2014

Press Clipping: While TransCanada Corp. insists Quebec will see a $5.8-billion boost to its gross domestic product and secure a significant chunk of employment worth 50,000-person years if its Energy East pipeline is approved, some local leaders aren’t so sure. “I have serious concerns about what this project will mean for our local economy,” said Hugues Tremblay, mayor of Tadoussac, a village at the mouth of the Saguenay River that’s become synonymous with whale watching.