July 17th, 2014 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
North America’s Largest Oilsands Pipeline To Go Through Stittsville
Ottawa, ON – The pipeline company behind the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project in the U.S. (TransCanada) wants to pump 1.1 million barrels of oilsands (tar sands) oil from Alberta to New Brunswick via a 55-year old natural gas pipeline that goes through Stittsville. Environmental group Ecology Ottawa will host a public information session on July 29th at the Johnny Leroux Arena in Stittsville to discuss the risks of TransCanada’s proposed Energy East pipeline project.
“We are concerned for all residents and communities along the pipeline, whose health, environment and water are all put at risk by this pipeline, and we’re also concerned about what this pipeline means for tar sands expansion and dangerous climate change,” signalled Ben Powless, a pipeline community organizer with Ecology Ottawa. “In particular, residents in Stittsville are closest to the pipeline, and the most at risk from any pipeline ruptures.”
Ben Powless and Ecology Ottawa members from Stittsville will present crucial information about Energy East project which involves converting 3,000 kilometres of natural gas pipeline to carry oil and constructing 1,500kilometres of new pipeline from Cornwall, Ontario to the Maritimes. The pipeline would go through Stittsville, passing over Fallowfield road, where a pipeline pumping station currently exists above-ground, before crossing the Rideau River at Kemptville. A pipeline rupture would severely impact well water in the area, as well as the local environment and economy.
“We know that people across Ottawa are concerned – over 5,000 have already signed our petition to keep this pipeline out of Ottawa. People from Kanata to Kitchissippi to Kemptville have said they think this is a bad idea, so we want to have this session to talk to local residents about what this pipeline is about and how we intend to stop it,” explains Mike Fletcher, a volunteer with Ecology Ottawa based in Munster, near Stittsville.
“This issue hits close to home for me and many others. If a spill were to occur, our health will be at risk. After the massive opposition to Northern Gateway and Keystone, Ottawa now finds itself joining communities across the continent who reject the risks of pipeline spills and climate change and who are working for a clean energy future,” notes Stittsville resident Ayah Stretch, who will also be speaking at the event.
The public information session will begin at 7 PM on the 2nd Floor of the Johnny Leroux Arena, 10 Warner-Colpitts Lane.All members of the public are welcome to attend. Following the presentation community members are invited to participate in a discussion on how local residents can make their voices heard about the project. This event is part of a series of information sessions this summer.
For interviews please contact:
Pipeline Community Organizer, Ecology Ottawa
Energy East Backgrounder:
TransCanada, Canada’s second biggest pipeline company, announced last August it plans on converting 3,000 kilometres of its natural gas pipeline which runs from Alberta to Cornwall, Ontario to transport heavy oilsands bitumen. TransCanada will also construct another 1,500 kilometres of pipeline from Cornwall to Saint John, New Brunswick to complete the proposed Energy East pipeline project.
Dubbed the “nation builder” pipeline by TransCanada and pipeline proponents, Energy East would transport 1.1 million barrels of diluted bitumen to export terminals in Cacouna, QC and Saint John, NB. TransCanada has not officially applied for the project yet and has stated they will formally apply this August, at which point the National Energy Board will review the project.
Concerns are already mounting about the threats the project poses for local residents, waterways and ecosystems, First Nations rights, and climate change. This pipeline will be transporting large amount of oilsands bitumen, a heavy unconventional oil that sinks in water and produces more greenhouse gas emissions to extract and process than conventional crude oil.
Over 5,000 residents of Ottawa have already signed Ecology Ottawa’s petition calling on all levels of government (federal, provincial and municipal) to reject the Energy East pipeline project.
Energy East in the News: