Written by Denise Deby.
Here’s what’s happening on the proposed Energy East pipeline:
The issue: TransCanada is planning to convert a natural gas pipeline through the Ottawa area to one that transports tar sands bitumen east on its way from Alberta to New Brunswick. (The Ottawa Riverkeeper has a map of the proposed pipeline route through the Ottawa River watershed here.)
The plan has prompted concerns about the potential of a spill, which would pollute groundwater, soil and rivers. The pipeline would also facilitate an increase in tar sands oil production, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.
Communities along the route are calling for renewable energy alternatives, rather than continued efforts to increase production of unsustainable energy.
What’s next? The Ontario Energy Board is holding the second of two rounds of public consultations on the proposed pipeline. They’ll be in Ottawa on January 22, 2015. What people say there will inform the Ontario government’s position on the pipeline and its effects.
Here’s what you can do:
1. For more information about the pipeline and getting involved, participate in Ecology Ottawa’s online webinar on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015 at 7 p.m. (Details here.)
2. Attend the Ontario Energy Board consultation. It’s on Thursday, Jan. 22 from 6-9:30 p.m. at the Brookstreet Hotel (525 Legget Dr.) in Kanata. Find more information and RSVP here: http://www.ontarioenergyboard.ca/html/oebenergyeast/attend_a_meeting.cfm#.VLv0oRs5A5s
3. If you can’t attend in person, you can attend online by following the instructions here: http://www.ontarioenergyboard.ca/html/oebenergyeast/attend_a_meeting.cfm#.VLv0oRs5A5s
4. Submit a written opinion or question to the OEB, by February 6, 2015—see http://www.ontarioenergyboard.ca/html/oebenergyeast/have_your_say.cfm#.VLvz6xs5A5s for details.
5. Sign Environmental Defence‘s petition asking Ontario political leaders to say no to the pipeline. (Environmental Defence also has some suggestions here for writing letters to the OEB.)
Ecology Ottawa has more information on its website, including a guide to Energy East, proposals on what the City of Ottawa can do and an analysis of why Energy East is a bad idea.
The Ottawa Riverkeeper is also working to raise awareness of risks of the pipeline.
The Council of Canadians has information and a petition on their website.
We’re not so much saying ‘no’ to Energy East as we are saying ‘yes!’ to all the better alternatives that exist.” – from “The Top 9 Reasons Why Energy East is Bad for the Climate,” Ecology Ottawa