As the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) returns to Ottawa for their final community consultation on the controversial Energy East pipeline, Ecology Ottawa is helping to mobilize hundreds of people to attend the hearing and speak out against the project.
The OEB held their last hearing in Ottawa last April, where the approximately 200 residents in attendance were overwhelmingly opposed to the proposed pipeline.
“This is an important opportunity for residents of Ottawa to voice their concerns and objections to this pipeline. We’ve already heard from thousands of people in Ottawa who are concerned about the risks of pipeline spills and climate change impacts from tar sands expansion,” noted Ben Powless, Pipeline Campaigner with Ecology Ottawa.
The OEB will also be presenting the preliminary results of four commissioned reports on Energy East, related to Environmental Impacts, Climate Change, Economics, and Pipeline Safety. The report on climate change has been criticized by many groups already for implying that the Energy East pipeline would have minimal impacts on climate change.
“While the Ontario government is to be credited for holding an open hearing on the Energy East pipeline, we encourage them to reject their commissioned climate change report. We’ve found that it’s conclusions that there will be no significant climate impact from Energy East are based on the assumption that oil companies will never overproduce oil, and that oil transport by trains are the same as pipelines,” said Powless.
In contrast, a Pembina Report from 2014 found that the Energy East pipeline would be responsible for a 30-32 megatonne yearly increase in greenhouse gas emissions, simply from the increased production of tar sands crude. This would be nearly equivalent to all the cars driving in Ontario.
In preparation for the meeting, Ecology Ottawa has released three reports on Energy East, including a general guide to the project, a report on how the City of Ottawa can responsibly review Energy East, and why Energy East would be bad for the climate, and will hundreds of copies to attendees.