Tell the National Energy Board that Energy East is Our Risk, Their Reward

Energy East route

UPDATE: Thank you to everyone who submitted an application to the National Energy Board (NEB) as part of the review of TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline project.

Filling the pipeline just doesn’t make sense. More than 100,000 messages have already been sent to the NEB calling for climate pollution to be considered.

We worked with, Greenpeace, and others to flood the NEB with thousands of applications to intervene in the review and raise ­– amongst other things – climate concerns. Considering these climate impacts as outside the list of issues the pipeline review will consider further underscores how inadequate and broken the federal process truly is.


Three ideas for Council of Canadians chapters and local groups to host an application writing event »

  1. Fill out an applications during your regular chapter meetings before the March 3 deadline. Have a couple of laptops available with internet access, print some copies of our step-by-step guide, and set aside 10-20 minutes for everyone to send in their application.
  2. Are you tabling at a local event or hosting a local event? Set up a space with a table, chairs, several laptops (with internet access), printed copies of our step-by-step guide and help participants take 10-20 minutes to apply.
  3. Host an event like a potluck or pizza party to discuss the Energy East pipeline and provide the tools listed above to send in applications. Show the handimation video Energy East 101 to help start the conversation.

Having trouble with your application?

Contact the Council of Canadians and we’ll help you. Give one of our regional offices a call for assistance.

Why should you apply to intervene in the process?

How to decide whether to apply as “directly affected” or as an “expert,” versus calling for the inclusion of climate impacts – both are needed!

The Harper government eliminated federal environmental assessments of pipeline projects, put the industry-friendly National Energy Board in charge of pipeline reviews, limited public participation in reviews to “directly affected” people, shortened the timeline for participation, and gave federal cabinet the final decision making power over pipeline projects.

In other words, this is a broken system.

Yet it remains an important opportunity, or moment, to have our concerns with this massive project heard.

When you apply, you will be asked to indicate how you fit into the new narrow definition of being “directly affected,” or what unique expertise you bring to this review, guided by the approved “list of issues.”

People considered “directly affected” include property owners, farmers, hunters and fishermen and women impacted by the pipeline. It includes Indigenous peoples and First Nation communities along the pipeline route, as well as those whose Indigenous rights would be impacted by the pipeline or a potential spill.  

Experts include people from the academic community, but also those with local experience and knowledge related to the pipeline route. For example, doctors in communities along the route concerned about the lack of clear information about the toxic chemicals that will be flowing in diluted bitumen that, if spilled, could pose a serious health risk to patients.

If you are “directly affected,” you can apply as an individual intervener, or join a coalition of groups and individuals applying that share concerns, such as this effort led by the Conservation Council of New Brunswick. Be in touch with us to help identify whether there is a coalition effort you could join, or to discuss this option further. 

While the NEB is a key space for very serious and legitimate concerns to be brought forward against this massive, damaging pipeline, it is entirely unacceptable that the NEB will consider upstream economic impacts, but not the upstream climate pollution impacts from the tar sands expansion needed to fill this pipeline. The Council of Canadians has already taken legal action against this unfair review.

If you do not fit within the definitions listed above ­(and even if you do, and you are also seriously concerned about climate change), we are asking you to take action and apply as an intervener.

The NEB denies that considering the climate pollution impacts of this pipeline is in their mandate. We disagree. The NEB’s mandate is to promote “safety and security, environmental protection and efficient energy infrastructure and markets in the Canadian public interest.” How is facilitating a close to 40 per cent increase in tar sands expansion – already the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in the country – not a matter of Canadian public interest?

If you agree, follow our step-by-step guide to filling out an application that calls on the NEB to recognize the climate implications of the Energy East pipeline.

What happens when I apply?

If you fit the description of being “directly affected,” or an accepted expert, you can find out more about next steps on the NEB’s website. You can also call us toll-free at 1-800-387-7177 for more information.

If you applied demanding that climate change be included in the review, you will likely find the odds stacked against you. Hundred of applications, perhaps even thousands, may be rejected. But the more people who apply to intervene in the Energy East process on climate, the more likely we will expose NEB’s commitment to exclude climate science from the process.

If that happens, we’ll be in touch again – alongside other groups like and Greenpeace – about bringing our demand for a climate review, and real participation by communities, directly to the doors of the NEB hearings.

Learn more about why Energy East is Our Risk, Their Reward.