Toronto, ON – The official review of TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline launched today with the determination by the National Energy Board (NEB) that the Energy East application is complete. If the revised review process is credible, it must result in a rejection of the proposed pipeline.
Public opposition to the Energy East pipeline is strong and continues to grow across Canada. Municipalities, First Nations and the public understand the huge risks of a massive oil pipeline. If the revised review process is really about projects needing social license – as the federal government has indicated – the review must conclude with a no.
The federal government has said Energy East needs the consent of Canadians if it is to be built, but with municipalities, First Nations, and hundreds of thousands of people across five provinces already opposed, that condition cannot be met.
More than 300 Quebec municipalities, including the Montreal Metropolitan Community, and many First Nations along the route are officially opposed to TransCanada’s mega-pipeline plan. A 2015 Ontario Energy Board report found that the economic and environmental risks to Ontario of Energy East outweigh its benefits. A petition opposing the mega-pipeline has garnered over 90,000 signatures in Quebec.
The federal government has promised to undertake a separate upstream greenhouse gas assessment of Energy East, but if that assessment is the same as the one completed for the Kinder Morgan proposal, it is flawed. A credible assessment needs to be one where global demand for oil is consistent with the global commitment to limit warming to less than 2 degrees. Moreover, we don’t know how this assessment will be used in determining whether the project should go forward or not.
A meaningful “climate test” must ensure that the oil being produced for the pipeline will not result in emissions that exceed the Alberta emissions cap or make it impossible for Canada to meet its commitment to keep global temperatures from increasing more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.
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