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WIN! Energy East tar sands pipeline defeated!

Council of Canadians energy and climate justice campaigner Andrea Harden-Donahue speaks against the Energy East pipeline at a rally in Ottawa, April 2016. Photo by Mike De Souza.

The Council of Canadians is celebrating the defeat of the TransCanada Energy East pipeline – which we have been campaigning against since February 2013.

If it hadn’t been defeated, the Energy East pipeline would have moved 1.1 million barrels of tar sands oil per day, generated about 32 million tonnes of upstream greenhouse gas emissions a year, enabled a 39 per cent increase in tar sands production from 2012 levels, crossed 2,900 waterways, threatened the drinking water of 5 million people, worsened air pollution levels in Saint John, and violated the rights of numerous First Nations in Alberta and along its route that did not consent to the project.

TransCanada attributed its decision to “changed circumstances”.

CBC reports, “Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall blamed the project’s failure on the National Energy Board’s August decision to ask for the impact of upstream and downstream emissions from potential increased consumption of oil.”

The Council of Canadians had argued – in our May 2014 legal appeal of the NEB’s initial list of issues (which excluded upstream and downstream emissions), in this action alert, in this December 2014 open letter to the National Energy Board, and in numerous popular education materials and blogs – that both upstream and downstream emissions had to be counted in the review of the Energy East project.

In February 2015, our Calgary chapter joined with 350.org, Leadnow.ca, Greenpeace and Avaaz to deliver more than 100,000 messages from people across the country to the National Energy Board head office in Calgary demanding that climate change be included in their review of the Energy East pipeline.

Both the Canadian Press and Vice News now quote Council of Canadians honorary chairperson Maude Barlow who says, “The end of Energy East shows that extreme energy projects are part of our past not our future. For all of our sakes, Kinder Morgan, Line 3, Line 10 and Keystone XL must face the same fate.”

Added together, the Kinder Morgan pipeline (890,000 barrels per day), Line 3 (760,000 bpd), Line 10 (73,000 bpd), and Keystone XL (830,000 bpd) would represent a flow of 2.55 million barrels a day of carbon intensive heavy oil.

All these pipelines mean a continued expansion of the tar sands, all cross waterways and sources of drinking water, and all cross Indigenous lands and territories without adequate consultation and consent. We believe the Trudeau government is not demonstrating “climate leadership” with its support of these projects.

Congratulations to all nations, allies and friends who fought against the Energy East project. Today’s announcement is the culmination of almost five years of collective work and is a significant win for the climate, water protection, and Indigenous rights.

For a full review of all our reports, fact sheets, blogs highlighting our speaking tours, protests and media interviews, please see our campaign web-page here.