The Energy East pipeline cannot be built now that Prime Minister Trudeau has agreed to a climate plan that limits warming to 1.5° Celsius, say numerous environmental groups in response to TransCanada’s updated Energy East application announced today. Estimates show the upstream production emissions of the pipeline, in Alberta alone, would be as high as 32 metric tons of CO2E a year, or 7 million new vehicles, while total lifecycle emissions are estimated at a staggering 220 million metric tons per year — more than what’s allowable under the new climate pledge.
“The climate math for building Energy East doesn’t add up,” said Andrea Harden-Donahue of the Council of Canadians. “Trudeau’s Liberal government has agreed with world leaders in Paris to limit warming to 1.5° Celsius, a target that will require a rapid transition to a fossil free future, definitely not a new massive tar sands pipeline. The action on the ground starts now.”
What’s more, Energy East doesn’t have the public support it needs to get built, groups say. More than half the population of Quebec and 70 Quebec municipalities, including Laval, the third largest city in Quebec, are opposed to Energy East and a number of First Nations all along the pipeline route have come out against Energy East, including the Mohawk Council of Kanesatake, backed by a resolution of the Chiefs of Quebec and the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs. Meanwhile, opposition to the pipeline is steadily growing, with 100,000 messages sent to the National Energy Board calling for a climate review of Energy East. A new petition – www.savefundy.ca – has already garnered more than 4000 signatures and thousands of concerned citizens are attending the Ontario Energy Board hearings.
“Prime Minister Trudeau has said publicly that Energy East requires the public’s support for it to be seriously considered as an option, but with hundreds of thousands of people and dozens of communities already opposed to the project, that condition cannot be met,” said Patrick Bonin of Greenpeace Canada.
A cross-section of 100 community, business, unions, scientists and environmental interests sent a letter asking the Prime Minister to stop the broken National Energy Board pipeline reviews, including Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain and TransCanada’s Energy East proposals, until the process is fixed. This includes properly consulting with First Nations governments affected by pipeline proposals and an assessment of upstream and downstream impacts or greenhouse gas emissions.
Meanwhile, contrary to what TransCanada is touting, Energy East is not a job creator, given only 60 long-term jobs would be created in Quebec. The pipeline would threaten thousands more jobs than it would create, especially as 5000 fishermen and their families in New Brunswick alone rely on the Bay of Fundy for employment. Thousands more fishermen in Maine and Nova Scotia also rely on the Bay.
“I believe the people of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Maine will stand strong to protect our land, water, and livelihoods, and to keep hundreds more oil tankers from threatening the Bay of Fundy and Gulf of Maine,” said Matthew Abbott of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.
Groups that say Energy East will not be built are: Equiterre, Greenpeace Canada, Environmental Defence, Council of Canadians, Association québécoise de lutte contre la pollution atmosphérique (AQLPA), Conservation Council of New Brunswick, Ecology Action Centre, Transition Initiative Kenora, Ecology Ottawa