Leading environmental organizations & community groups call for the National Energy Board to consider the upstream climate impacts of the pipeline.
MONTREAL – Today, over 60 environmental and community groups from across Canada sent a letter to Peter Watson, head of the National Energy Board, demanding that the NEB include climate change in its review of the Energy East project. This letter comes in addition to 60,000 messages sent from people all acrossCanada to the NEB calling for a climate review.
"The best scientific minds on the planet are telling us that we need to rapidly transition off of fossil fuels to address climate change, and Energy East would be a step in the exact opposite direction," says Patrick Bonin, Climate & Energy campaigner with Greenpeace Canada. "Without considering the upstream climate impacts of Energy East, the NEB's review will be incomplete and illegitimate."
The Energy East project would release 30 to 32 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, the same as adding seven million cars to Canada's roads. This is more than any single Atlantic province, and bigger than the emissions saved in Ontario's entire coal phase out. In comparison, the Keystone XL pipeline, which now faces a climate test from U.S. President Barack Obama, would increase emissions by 22 million tonnes.
"If we can't talk about tar sands expansion and climate change at the NEB, where can we?" says Andrea Harden-Donahue, Energy and Climate Justice Campaigner. "Pipeline infrastructure is nearing capacity in Alberta. Adding 1.1 million barrels every day, Energy East will absolutely spur tar sands expansion and significant carbon pollution."
In late November, the NEB's refusal to consider the climate change impacts of tar sands pipelines came under even more intense criticism as over 100 people were arrested on Burnaby Mountain. Many of those arrested protesting the proposed Trans-Mountain project cited climate change, and that the NEB had refused to hear climate concerns, as the reason for their actions.
"The tar sands are Canada's fastest growing source of emissions, and building projects like Energy East will only make that worse," says Catherine Abreu, Energy Coordinator with the Ecology Action Center. "If Canada is going to be a part of the solution when it comes to climate change, we need to apply a climate test to projects like Energy East, and reject them if they will make climate change worse."
Groups signed on: 350.org, Alerte Pétrole Rive Sud, Alternatives, Association québécoise de lutte contre la pollution atmosphérique – AQLPA, Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, Center for Sustainable Economy, Centre de recherche en éducation et formation relatives à l'environnement et à l'écocitoyenneté de l'UQAM, Citizens Climate Lobby Montreal, Citizen's Climate Lobby Canada, ClimateFast, Coalition québécoise pour une gestion responsable de l'eau Eau Secours, Coalition vigilance oléoducs, Collectif scientifique sur la question du gaz de schiste au Québec, Comité de vigilance environnementale de l'Est de Montréal, Concerned Citizen's Coalition – North Bay, Conseil Central du Montréal Métropolitain-CSN, Conservation Council ofNew Brunswick, Council of Canadians, Council of Canadians – Fredericton Chapter, Council of Canadians – Halifax Chapter , Council of Canadians – Montreal Chapter, Council of Canadians – Moose Jaw Chapter, Council of Canadians – Ottawa Chapter, Council of Canadians – Regina Chapter Council of Canadians – Saint John Chapter, Council of Canadians Thunder Bay Chapter, Council of Canadians-Winnipeg Chapter, Ecology Action Center, Ecology Ottawa, Environnement Jeunesse, Equiterre, Fondation David Suzuki / David Suzuki Foundation, Fondation Rivières, For Our Grandchildren, ForestEthics Advocacy, Fossil Free Lakehead, Friends of the Earth Canada, Green 13, Green Neighbours 21, Greenpeace Canada, Greenspiration, JustEarth – a Coalition for Environmental Justice, Lakehead University Environmental Law Students' Association, Leadnow, Making Peace Vigil – Regina, Natural Resources Defense Council, Nature Québec, New Brunswick Anti Shale Gas Alliance, Non à une marée noire dans le Saint-Laurent , Polaris Institute, Regroupement national des conseils régionaux de l'environnement du Québec, Regroupement vigilance hydrocarbures Québec, Sacred Heart School of Halifax Environment Committee, Saskatchewan Eco Network, Saskatoon350.org, SaveCanada, Sierra Club BC, Sierra Club Québec, Stop the Energy East Pipeline Halifax, Toronto350.org, Transition Initiative Kenora, Voters Taking Action on Climate Change, World Wildlife Fund/Fonds mondial pour la nature WWF-Canada
For further information:
Andrea Harden-Donahue – Council of Canadians, firstname.lastname@example.org, 613-793-5488
Cameron Fenton – 350.org – email@example.com, 604-369-2155
Ben Powless – Ecology Ottawa –firstname.lastname@example.org, 613-601-4219
Patrick Bonin – Greenpeace Canada, 514-594-1221
Geneviève Puskas – Equiterre, email@example.com 514-792-5222