Resistance to Energy East Strong Across New Brunswick

4 11 2014


This proposal is a climate nightmare. Taking climate change seriously means rejecting this pipeline. (lots of great detail below)


TransCanada’s job numbers are misleading. The vast majority of jobs it says will be created by this project are short-term, during the construction phase of the pipeline. TransCanada says its Energy East pipeline would create 1087 direct, long-term jobs over 40 years across the country. Efficiency Nova Scotia, an energy efficiency utility, has created 1200 direct, long-term jobs in the past four years in Nova Scotia alone.


Resistance is strong and growing across the country. TransCanada was met with vocal opposition at every stop of its recent open house tour through New Brunswick. Countless Quebec’ers are rejecting the risks of this pipeline. Even the Alberta Federation of Labour recently came out against it. This pipeline won’t be built, either.

One thing that consistently came up last week on the tour was rail vs oil. I bet it will come up again on the show today. Here’s some points to consider:

  • Some like to suggest that approving Energy East will reduce dangerous oil by rail traffic. It is not either, or. Industry is gunning for both. We need to take the threat of oil shipped by pipeline and rail seriously, we need to get dangerous DOT-111 cars off the rails and reject unnecessary projects like Energy East.

Energy East and Oil by Rail:

  • Transporting oil by rail or by pipeline is incredibly risky and oil spills are a regular reality with both.
  • From the Globe and Mail (direct quote): The oil industry is well past the point of being able to choose between railways or pipelines. Production is rising from the Alberta oil sands and North Dakota’s Bakken, and with each new barrel comes a new problem of getting it to market. For better or worse, pipeline approvals or not, it appears the oil trains will run. But has the rail infrastructure, tank car design and traffic control technology caught up with the demand for moving oil on rails? As events have shown, the answer is no.
  • From the Globe and Mail (direct quote): The list of major pipeline projects awaiting approval poses no threat to railways’ burgeoning business of shipping oil, railway and energy industry representatives say. Mike Lowenger, a vice-president of the Railway Association of Canada, said although pipelines will continue to move the bulk of North America’s energy, there will continue to be demand for rail deliveries of oil. I think there’s lots to go around,” he said. Railways reach suppliers and buyers not served by pipelines. At the same time, they have filled some of the gaps left by a shortage of pipelines that has led to a glut of Alberta oil and reduced prices for Canadian crude. Enbridge Inc., TransCanada Corp., and Kinder Morgan are among the major companies seeking to build or expand major pipelines in Canada and the United States. “We’re going to be short pipeline capacity, even when all the pipelines are built,” said Paul Miller, a vice-president of TransCanada.


Flood CBC with calls about why this pipeline is a terrible idea for our climate and the future of our communities.


Talking points include:

– The extraction and transportation (not burning) of the oil in TransCanada’s proposed pipeline is estimated to create 30-32 million tonnes GHG emissions: equivalent to the emissions from PE, NB, and NFLD combined.

– If we want to reduce our GHGs in Canada, we can’t expand the Tarsands or further lock ourselves into fossil fuel infrastructure.

– TransCanada has a terrible spill record – their Keystone pipeline spilled 12 times in its first year (2012).

– In ten minutes (the minimum time it takes to stop a leak), this pipeline would spill up to 1 million litres oil into surrounding ecosystems. The estimated total spillage in Kalamazoo is 1 million litres, and they are still cleaning this up over a year later.

– If built, the pipeline would increase annual  tanker traffic in Bay of Fundy by 210 tankers full of diluted bitumen.  Diluted bitumen, which is what would be shipped through the pipeline if built, sinks and turns in to tarballs in water. We don’t know how to properly clean up this kind of spill year. The Bay of Fundy is a very precious resource for livelihoods, and ecosystems in the maritimes. The majority of the fisheries in the Bay of Fundy are based on bottom-dwelling sea creatures (ie lobster, shellfish, and groundfish like haddock and halibut), and these fisheries would be put at risk

– This pipeline would facilitate 40% expansion of the TarSands, Canada’s fastest growing source of GHGs. In light of this week’s IPCC report, this contradicts the recommendations of 95% of the world’s climate scientists.

– Job creation: We have no idea about if these jobs are going to be safe, long-term, or for Maritimers to be able to stay at home. It still means sending our people away, and puts so many of our local industries at risk.

– This oil isn’t for us. We don’t have the capacity to refine this oil, it’s known that over 90% of the bitumen coming through the pipeline will be exported. Someone else is refining it, and if we get to use it, we’ll be buying it back from them.




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