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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Overview:
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

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.

Beluga concerns cause TransCanada to halt work in Quebec

Feature

December 2nd 2014

Press Clipping: TransCanada Corp. will halt all work on an oil terminal in eastern Quebec in response to concerns the project could hurt a beluga habitat. The company said Monday it is “standing down” on all work in Cacouna after a federal government wildlife committee report concluded the whales are endangered. The committee announced after its meeting last month that the beluga’s numbers have dwindled to 1,000 from a high of 10,000. “Without protection of its critical habitat, this population is expected to shrink further,” it said in a news release.

Energy East ‘risky,’ offers few economic benefits: Montreal’s mayor

Nicolas Van Praet | Globe and Mail - November 28th 2014

Press Clipping: Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre is expressing reservations about the two oil pipeline projects that will cut across Quebec, saying TransCanada Corp.’s Energy East project in particular appears to offer little local economic benefit for the risk. "Tell me what kind of benefits there are,” the mayor challenged the company. “Because so far, according to our fiscal specialists and economists in Montreal, the benefits are very minimal.”

Premiers Wynne and Couillard set seven criteria for Energy East

Feature

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.”