In response to TransCanada’s announcement of its Energy East project, the Council of Canadians is launching a national campaign to stop the pipeline. The Council of Canadians argues the pipeline is not safe, is unlikely to provide energy security for Atlantic Canadians or generate decent jobs. The project would see TransCanada convert part of their Mainline gas pipeline (built in the 1950’s), to ship oil, including diluted bitumen from Alberta’s tar sands, to Atlantic Canada.
“While using an existing pipeline may reduce TransCanada’s costs, it increases spill risks for the many rivers, lakes and communities along the route,” says Andrea Harden-Donahue, Energy Campaigner with the Council of Canadians. “The disastrous pipeline spills in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Mayflower, Arkansas highlight the dangers of shipping tar sands crude and using an older pipeline not originally built for carrying oil.”
With members and supporters along the pipeline route, the social justice organization intends to build awareness and bolster opposition efforts amongst those who would be directly impacted by the project. The group will be present at TransCanada project open houses and will participate in the forthcoming National Energy Board proceedings.
“While there has been a lot of talk about Atlantic energy security, this crude will actually go to the highest bidder. India, China, Europe and the U.S. are in line,” says Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “This would threaten the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Bay of Fundy, water bodies that must be protected as part of the commons and a public trust, not as a highway for oil exports.”
“TransCanada has been silent on exactly how many jobs the company claims would be generated by the Energy East pipeline,” says Maryam Adrangi, Energy Campaigner with the Council. “We will be watching this closely, as studies have shown that TransCanada’s Keystone XL job promises have basically been a smokescreen to win approval of an unwanted pipeline.”