TransCanada applies for NEB approval of Energy East, draws criticism for exaggerated domestic benefits

Intro

TransCanada moved forward with a governmental request to build the Energy East pipeline today, ignoring calls to cease “misleading investors and Canadians” with false claims. The Alberta-based company made the announcement today at a press conference, merely a day after a report magnified TransCanada’s “vastly exaggerated” claims that the pipeline would reduce overseas oil imports. Seeking approval for the $12 billion dollar pipeline project from the National Energy Board, Energy East would carry 1.1 million barrels of crude oil per day from the tar sands to Canadian east coast refineries. According to accounts on a Facebook advocacy page, the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) was barred from entering the press conference hall, while many environmental groups were also forced to wait outside the premises. Despite TransCanada’s attempts to weed out challenging voices, Energy East will continue to be met with resistance as many continue to carry out various actions drawing attention to the dangers associated with this highly criticized project.

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RT @350 Pumpkins not pipelines! Canadians this Halloween can scare politicians to agree #NoEnergyEast http://act.350.org/event/climatenightmare/create/

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Key Points

  • While TransCanada acts elusive, Canadians and investors are being dealt a short hand. According to Environmental Defence and Greenpeace, TransCanada is feeding Canadians and investors with “outdated, inaccurate information,” claiming that the Canadian east coast refineries import 86 per cent of its oil supply from Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Venezuela and Algeria, whereas recent statistics show that these overseas sources only represent 14.1 per cent of the country’s oil imports. In actuality, over 50 per cent of crude oil imports to these east coast refineries originate from the US.
  • Despite marketing the pipeline as a domestic asset, Energy East would likely be used as an export pipeline. TransCanada claims that “if approved, Energy East could eliminate this dependence on expensive foreign oil.” Given that over 50 per cent of crude transported to Canada’s east coast refineries come from the US, along with Energy East’s capacity to carry 1.1 million barrels of crude oil, Alberta crude could very likely make its way to European, Indian and American markets.
  • Energy East puts communities and the environment at risk. Nearby major cities could just as well be subjected to oil spills, while First Nation and Métis communities are located directly along the pipeline route. If a spill penetrates one of the hundreds of lakes in its vicinity, Energy East could devastate entire communities by poisoning their drinking water supply, which is why many acting swiftly and educating residents about the dangers associated with this project.

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Quotes

  • “It will be First Nations’ interventions and the assertion of aboriginal and treaty rights that is going to stop the plan to build this 4,000-kilometre pipeline.” – Clayton Thomas-Muller, environmental justice and indigenous rights organizer
  • “There’s a lot of rhetoric flying around about nation building and job creation in the east and we just don’t see any evidence of it… A lot of people are very concerned about making sure Canada gets value for its resources and we really want to make sure that nobody is misled by this marketing ploy of theirs. It’s very disingenuous.” –  Adam Scott, with Environmental Defence
  • “This pipeline is carrying the dirtiest energy on Earth and a spill would devastate many rivers… It will create some jobs while the pipeline is being built. But very few will be needed, once that’s done and all of this energy, almost all of it is for export. ” – Maude Barlow, Council of Canadians
  • “Since 2008, we’ve been told that Keystone XL is a done deal and would be built no matter what, but we’ve successfully blocked that tar sands pipeline for six years… Now we’re hearing the same story about Energy East, but we know that we have the power to block this pipeline too.” – Luísa Abbott Galvão, Friends of the Earth U.S.
  • “It’s not going to happen… Energy East would negate all the good work on climate that has been done at the provincial level, pose a major threat to millions of people’s drinking water and disrespect Canadians in Eastern Canada, who care as much as any other Canadian about oil spills contaminating their homes, waterways and livelihoods.” – Patrick Bonin, Greenpeace Canada

More tweets

  • MT @frankejames Citizen’s Voices Squashed while TransCanada’s massive 30,000-page Energy East pipeline application accepted