Toronto, ON – Today’s report by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to the Ontario government raises serious concerns about Energy East. The report highlights that the tar sands pipeline’s economic benefits are not balanced with the environmental risks to Ontario. Public input made it clear that the risky project does not have the support of communities along the pipeline route in Ontario.
The OEB report highlighted concerns of Métis and First Nations that TransCanada’s duty to consult has not been sufficiently fulfilled. This is alarming as yet another pipeline project risks ignoring Aboriginal rights.
Over 10,000 people across the province spoke to the independent Board, with the vast majority expressing serious concerns about the pipeline proposal. Testimony from front-line communities highlighted the significant threats to watersheds.
Many participants also raised concerns that Energy East would directly facilitate the expansion of the Alberta tar sands, increasing Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions. This would make Canada an irresponsible player in a world where more and more countries are working hard to reduce their impact on the climate.
It is disappointing that the OEB’s analysis of the proposal’s climate impacts was based on outdated and inaccurate information, vastly underestimating Energy East’s threat to our climate. Emissions involved in producing Energy East’s oil would be equivalent to putting seven million new cars on the road.
The Ontario government has committed to release a comprehensive climate strategy this fall. Ontario must ensure its efforts are not nullified by the expansion of the tar sands that Energy East would enable. For Ontario to be a climate leader, it must tell the National Energy Board that the Energy East proposal is bad for Ontario and cannot be allowed to move forward.
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