Ecology Ottawa and 350.org have planned an action to deploy “No Energy East” Jack-O-Lanterns tonight around the Prime Minister’s Office (Langevin Block) at 6:30pm.
With TransCanada today filing their application with the National Energy Board to build the Energy East pipeline, Ecology Ottawa joins communities and organizations across the country who have pledged to not allow the Energy East pipeline to be built. The pipeline is proposed to ship over 130 million litres of oil every day from Alberta to tanker ports in Quebec and New Brunswick, passing through the City of Ottawa and the Rideau River.
“TransCanada’s filing today represents the countdown to this pipeline being rejected. Already we’ve heard it from communities along the pipeline route, from First Nations, and from nearly 6,000 residents of Ottawa alone, who have said they don’t want this pipeline,” stated Ben Powless, Pipeline Community Organizer with Ecology Ottawa.
“The Energy East pipeline represents not just a critical risk to the Rideau River and the Ottawa River, the source of our drinking water, but it presents an unacceptable risk in terms of climate change emissions associated with the project. Simply building this pipeline would be equivalent to restarting Ontario’s coal plants, and that’s without even burning the oil inside,” noted Graham Saul, Executive Director of Ecology Ottawa.
Ecology Ottawa has recently conducted a candidate survey showing how 90% of recent candidates for city council were prepared to oppose the pipeline, which includes a majority of councillors who were eventually elected.
The pipeline would be twice as large as the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, and 40% bigger than Keystone XL. Opponents have noted that building the pipeline would lead to a 30 million ton increase in greenhouse gas emissions every year – the equivalent of restarting Ontario’s coal plants. TransCanada has also been in the news because of their proposed Keystone XL pipeline in the US, which has received unprecedented opposition.
“Ottawa now finds itself on the frontlines of the international effort to prevent the reckless expansion of the Alberta tar sands, which would alone undo all the climate progress achieved in Canada. We have an obligation to protect not just our rivers and watersheds from toxic oil spills, but to make sure we have a habitable climate into the future,” said Powless.
“In the past year, nearly 6,000 people have our Ecology Ottawa’s petition to say no to the Energy East pipeline, and we’re calling on all concerned citizens in Ottawa to go to our website,www.tarfree613.ca, and sign our petition if you agree,” signalled Powless.