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Available for comment: Prentice’s Energy East lobby trip to Ontario and Quebec, Council of Canadians urges Wynne and Couillard not to bend

Prentice and Wynne

Toronto – Today Alberta Premier Jim Prentice met with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to lobby for the Energy East pipeline, after the Ontario and Quebec premiers announced seven conditions the pipeline must meet.  Wynne announced that in analyzing greenhouse emissions, Ontario would only consider the emissions from the pipeline itself and not from the tar sands.

In response, the Council of Canadians urged Ontario to stay steadfast in imposing conditions on Energy East.  The Council denounced the decision to not consider the full impacts of the tar sands on the environment.

“Wynne’s refusal to consider how the pipeline will spur more climate pollution in the tar sands is more than disappointing, it is wrong. The tar sands are reaching the limits of pipeline capacity. At 1.1 million barrels per day, the pipeline will absolutely unlock increased production in Canada’s fastest growing source of climate pollution,” says Andrea Harden-Donahue, Energy and Climate Justice Campaigner with the Council of Canadians. “The real question now is whether the Ontario and Quebec premiers will rigorously apply the conditions. Also, the Energy East pipeline could rupture, causing a serious oil spill that would threaten drinking water sources.”

Filling the Energy East pipeline would spur an additional 30 to 32 million tonnes of carbon pollution every year. This would undo the progress made in Ontario’s phase-out of coal. It would cross critical waterways in Ontario and Quebec, including drinking water sources such as the Nipigon River that flows quickly into Lake Superior, North Bay’s Trout Lake, the Ottawa River, and the St. Lawrence.

TransCanada has had five pipeline ruptures in the last 14 months.  TransCanada wants to convert a forty-year-old gas pipeline to carry oil, something U.S. regulators recently warned could have a significant impact on the pipeline’s safety and integrity.

Mark Calzavara, Ontario, Quebec and Nunavut Organizer with the Council of Canadians concludes, “This is a risky plan that will only benefit Big Oil.  A few short-term jobs are not worth putting the long-term safety of our communities, waterways and climate on the line. Ontario and Quebec are right to protect their residents’ interests.”