Energy East: Our Risk - Their Reward
K'JIPUKTUK (Halifax) – With TransCanada set to file their application for its Energy East pipeline any day now, the Council of Canadians will kick off of a two-week Atlantic tour to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick communities including Halifax to discuss the project. This Sunday, speakers including Maude Barlow and Cherri Foytlin will expose the serious risks of TransCanada’s proposed pipeline. The public forum starts at 7:00 p.m. at Dalhousie University’s Scotiabank Auditorium. The tour includes five public forums, site visits and meetings.
“Atlantic Canada is on the precipice of a major decision: do they put their safety, environment, and tourism and fishery industries in peril to help the Alberta tar sands expand? The oil is not even for our own domestic use, but for export. Or are there other options?” said Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “As they have shown with fracking, Atlantic Canadians know when a few jobs aren’t worth the risk. They can and should give TransCanada the boot.”
TransCanada, which is on the verge of filing the project with the National Energy Board, is proposing a pipeline to transport 1.1 million barrels of oil daily from Alberta to ports in Cacouna, Quebec and Saint John, New Brunswick. Up to 1 million barrels is expected to be exported unrefined, which could lead to a doubling of oil supertankers in the Bay of Fundy, which would travel along Nova Scotia’s shores. The Bay of Fundy boasts the highest tides in the world and unpredictable weather. Oil spilling from a tanker incident would travel quickly, threatening marine life and good jobs in the tourism and fishing industries.
Cherri Foytlin witnessed the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill and its long lasting impacts first-hand, and is joining the tour to share her experiences.
“After a storm, we still have oil in our wetlands and on our beaches. Sea turtles and dolphins continue to wash ashore at an unprecedented rate. Our fisheries and fishing families are still trying to recover,” says Foytlin. “Worse still, an untold number of people – clean-up workers and residents, children and grandmothers – are chronically ill from the heavy use of a chemical dispersant applied to the oil during the spill.”
Energy East would ship crude oil, including diluted bitumen from the tar sands. Unlike conventional oil, bitumen has been shown to sink in fresh water, making it much harder to clean up. In Kalamazoo, Michigan, over $1 billion was spent on its clean-up effort. And yet submerged oil still remains on the river bottom.
A lab-based wave tank study by Environment Canada found that, when released in sea water with fine sediments and high-energy wave action – precisely the conditions one would expect in the Bay of Fundy – bitumen sinks and forms tar balls.
“Atlantic Canadians are already on the front lines of climate change,” concludes Angela Giles, Atlantic Regional Organizer for the Council of Canadians, “We don’t need Energy East and the threats it brings to our water and climate. We can build the sustainable energy future the region needs and generate good, green jobs.”
Where: Scotiabank Auditorium, McCain Arts & Social Sciences Building, Dalhousie University (map)
When: Sunday, October 26, 7:00 p.m.
Partners include the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, Ecology Action Centre, Fundy Bay Keeper, Stop Energy East Halifax, 350.org and Leadnow.
Our handimation on Energy East: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfCWlTBLDJE