ATLANTIC TOUR: Energy East: Our Risk - Their Reward

Sunday, October 26, 2014 - 19:00 to Thursday, November 6, 2014 - 21:00

Maude Barlow    Cherri Foytlin    Ben Gotschall

TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline project would ship 1.1 million barrels of oil every day, including tar sands crude, from Alberta to ports in Cacouna, Quebec and Saint John, New Brunswick. It would be the largest oil pipeline in North America.

From October 26 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.

Join Council of Canadians Chairperson Maude Barlow, journalist and Gulf of Mexico BP oil spill speaker Cherri Foytlin, Energy Director of Bold Nebraska Ben Gotschall, and others to hear about the project, how to protect our waterways, possible alternatives, and the risks of a pipeline and tanker spill.

Local partners include the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, Ecology Action Centre, Fundy Bay Keeper, Stop Energy East Halifax, and Leadnow.

Speaker biographies:

Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians, on protecting our water

Maude BarlowMaude Barlow is the National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and chairs the board of Washington-based Food and Water Watch. She is a board member of the San Francisco–based International Forum on Globalization and a Councillor with the Hamburg-based World Future Council.

Maude is the recipient of eleven honorary doctorates as well as many awards, including the 2005 Right Livelihood Award (known as the “Alternative Nobel”), the 2005 Lannan Foundation Cultural Freedom Fellowship Award, the Citation of Lifetime Achievement at the 2008 Canadian Environment Awards, the 2009 Earth Day Canada Outstanding Environmental Achievement Award, the 2009 Planet in Focus Eco Hero Award, and the 2011 EarthCare Award, the highest international honour of the Sierra Club (US).

In 2008/2009, she served as Senior Advisor on Water to the 63rd President of the United Nations General Assembly and was a leader in the campaign to have water recognized as a human right by the UN. She is also the author of dozens of reports, as well as 17 books, including her latest, Blue Future: Protecting Water For People And The Planet Forever.

Cherri Foytlin, journalist and speaker, on the health and ecosystem of Gulf Coast communities after the BP oil spill

Cherri FoytlinCherri Foytlin is a journalist, speaker and mother of six who lives in south Louisiana. She is the author of "Spill It! The Truth About the Deep Water Horizon Oil Rig Explosion," and regularly contributes to, the Huffington Post, and several local newspapers. In the Spring of 2011 she walked to Washington D.C. from New Orleans (1,243 miles) to call for action to stop the BP Drilling Disaster, and has been a constant voice speaking out for the health and ecosystem of Gulf Coast communities, in countless forms of media.

Ben Gotschall, Energy Director for Bold Nebraska, on ranchers’ opposition to Keystone XL

Ben GotschallBen Gotschall was born and raised on a cattle ranch in the Sandhills of southwest Holt County, Nebraska. Although most of his occupations have been agricultural, he has also published a full-length book of poetry and taught college English. He continues maintain a connection to the Sandhills by marketing his family's grass-fed beef while also running his own operation, Davey Road Ranch, in Raymond.  Ben operates a dairy cattle business called Holt Creek Jerseys, he is the dairy manager at Branched Oak Farm in Raymond, and he is the Energy Director for Bold Nebraska.

Catherine Abreu, Energy Coordinator, Ecology Action Centre

Catherine AbreuCatherine Abreu is dedicated to positioning Atlantic Canada as a national leader in sustainable energy policy. As Energy Coordinator of the Ecology Action Centre, Catherine designs and manages campaigns focused on maintaining the province's singular commitment to energy efficiency, developing Nova Scotia's renewable energy sector, and phasing out coal-fired electricity generation. Catherine is also Regional Coordinator of the Atlantic Canada Sustainable Energy Coalition (ACSEC), which harmonizes the energy and climate-related objectives of ENGOs in each of the Atlantic Provinces. ACSEC's current commitments include transitioning the region from fossil fuel dependence, developing an Atlantic Canadian sustainable transportation strategy, and enhancing integration of electricity systems.

Maria Recchia, Executive Director, Fundy North Fishermen's Association

Maria-RecchiaMaria has worked with Fundy North for over ten years. She has been involved in small-scale fisheries issues since 1991 and has worked with fishermen and women in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Maine, Massachusetts and Italy. She has marine biology and anthropology training and has worked for several non-profit organizations.

Matthew Abbott, Fundy Baykeeper for the Conservation Council of New Brunswick

Matthew AbbottBased in St Andrews, Matt works on a range of issues threatening the vibrant but stressed Fundy ecosystem. Matt also carries out on the water monitoring and watch dog work 6 months of the year.

Hubert Saulnier, local fisherman and President of Local 9 Maritime Fishermen's Union

Hubert SaulnierHubert Saulnier has been fishing in the Bay of Fundy since he was 15 years-old and has been working to protect the fishery and the Bay for many years. He is on the recovery team for the North Atlantic right whale and worked to change the traffic lanes for large vessels coming in and out of the Bay to avoid collisions with these endangered mammals. He was also involved with the White’s Cove/Digby Neck quarry proposal, looking at the impacts of large transport vessels on the waters.

Hubert is currently the President of the Maritime Fishermen’s Union and the chair of the committee that manages the groundfish for fixed gear fishermen. He is also on the LFA 34 advisory committee, the Lobster Council of Canada, and the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Public Forum on Energy East – Tour dates:

  • Sunday, October 26 – Halifax, NS
  • Monday, October 27 – Cornwallis, NS
  • Wednesday, October 29 – Saint John, NB
  • Tuesday, November 4 – Fredericton, NB
  • Thursday, November 6 – Edmundston, NB

Tour highlights

Background Information:

Atlantic Canadians are being asked to burden the risks that are being rejected by mounting opposition to tar sands pipelines in Western Canada and the U.S.

  • Jobs: TransCanada has a bad track record on job promises, which will primarily be short-term.
  • Up to 1 million barrels per day is expected to be exported, unrefined.
  • It won’t reduce costs at gas pumps or deter companies from shipping oil by rail.

The risks are serious.

  • Diluted bitumen produced in the tar sands is unlike conventional oil – a spill would have devastating environmental impacts that are nearly impossible to clean up, as seen with the Enbridge pipeline spill in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
  • Energy East would see tankers in the Bay of Fundy double or triple in number, putting the waters depended on for fishing, tourism and whale habitat at risk of a diluted bitumen spill.
  • The vast majority of the tar sands crude that would be pumped through the Energy East pipeline is for export. We get all the risk, they get all the reward.
  • The pipeline would result in more than 650,000 barrels per day of additional tar sands production, which means even more toxic exposure for downstream communities.
  • The increased production would also generate up to 32 million tonnes of carbon emissions each year – more than any single Atlantic province.
  • Investing in fossil fuel infrastructure detracts from needed investments in a green energy future.

Find out more about Energy East »

Photo: Maude Barlow (photo by Wolfgang Schmidt)