Tar Free 613 – More Information

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We’ve done our research, which is why we’re opposed to the Energy East pipeline.

This would be no ordinary pipeline. Pumping over 130 million litres of oil every day, the pipeline would be the largest ever proposed for Canada.

Pipeline Risks

Most of that oil will be diluted tar sands bitumen (dilbit). We know if there was ever a spill, it would be devastating for local residents, waterways, and businesses.

In 2010, residents near the Kalamazoo River in Michigan were surprised by a 3.3 million litre spill that leaked directly into the river. Residents had to be evacuated, the river was shut down, and businesses shuttered.

The US Environmental Protection Agency also discovered something surprising: dilbit sinks in water. Actually, the diluent separates from the bitumen, and the bitumen sinks.

That’s why today, nearly four years later, almost 700,000 litres of oil remains on the river bottom. This is after the government ordered the company to completely clean up the spill, and after $1,000,000,000 was spent trying to clean it up.

TransCanada has also stated that building a pipeline would be safer than transporting oil by train. Our research actually discovered that building this pipeline will actually lead to a large increase in train traffic, of highly flammable light hydrocarbons.

Which is why we think this pipeline is fundamentally too risky for Ottawa or any community along the 4,500km route.

Climate Risks

Climate Implications of the Proposed Energy East Pipeline - A report by the Pembina Institute

Climate Implications of the Proposed Energy East Pipeline – A report by the Pembina Institute

Even if the pipeline could be guaranteed to never spill – which it can’t – we still think this pipeline is a bad idea.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently released another report, compiled by 772 scientists over the last few years, detailing the devastating impacts that climate change could have on all parts of the world unless acted upon immediately.

Canada is currently ignoring the advice of scientists and other countries around the world by not taking action to stop climate change emissions. The tar sands are already the fastest-growing source of climate change pollution in Canada, and this pipeline would only serve to accelerate tar sands production.

This pipeline would allow tar sands production to increase to over 30 million tonnes of climate changing pollution every year – the equivalent of adding seven million cars to the road.

If we as a country are serious about responsible development, we need to instead be investing in renewables that don’t put the health of future generations at risk for profits today.

Economic Risks

TransCanada has argued that this project should go forward because it creates jobs and serves Canada’s economy. We believe those are both myths.

While the pipeline would undoubtedly create jobs during its construction, an independent report commissioned by TransCanada found that the pipeline would only directly employ 25 people at TransCanada’s offices in Calgary once constructed.

Which seems a paltry few jobs for a $12-billion project. In fact, it’s estimated that if we spent similar numbers in renewable energy, we could create thousands of long-term jobs.

Furthermore, the world is dramatically shifting away from investing in fossil fuels. A Bloomberg institute reports that by 2030, fossil-fuel growth will have stopped (and that it should happen by 2020, according to science).

In 2011, investments in renewable energy outpaced investments in fossil fuels, a trend that’s likely to continue.

As countries around the world begin to act on climate change, we may see increasing global regulations on fossil fuel production. Recently, the International Energy Agency stated that over 75% of Canada’s fossil fuel reserves would have to be left in the ground to hold global warming below two degrees Celsius.

This means many of our investments in developing the tar sands are fairly short-sighted, as a majority may never be legally developed.

This pipeline is nothing but risks for our city, our climate, and our economy.

More information

  • Our Guide to the Energy East Pipeline

    Our Guide to the Energy East Pipeline

    Please check out our two page factsheet for quick access to the facts about the pipeline.

  • For more information please consult our guide to understanding the pipeline.


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3 Comments on “Tar Free 613 – More Information

  1. Pingback: Tell the Ontario Energy Board what you think about Energy East! | Ecology Ottawa

  2. Pingback: 7 Reasons Why the Energy East Pipeline Will Never Be Approved | Ecology Ottawa

  3. Pingback: Sept raisons pour lesquelles le pipeline ne sera jamais approuvé | Écologie Ottawa

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