Proposed Pipelines Through Our Region

Proposed Eastern Pipelines and Effects on Global Warming

Overview

Two pipelines, called “Line 9” and “Energy East” have been proposed across our region to carry tar sand bitumen from Alberta to the east coast. These proposals are intimately tied to on-going efforts to greatly increase oil production from the tar sands of western Canada. Expansion of the tar sands depends on being able to get the product to market (ie. off-shore). For a number of years developers have been attempting to construct pipelines to the west coast and south into the U.S. With strong opposition to the western and southern pipelines, tar sands developers have recently adopted a Plan B – transport the bitumen to the east coast via pipelines. These pipelines will cross and threaten innumerable sensitive natural areas in our region (see A2A webpage).

Increased pipeline capacity will also lead to expansion of production in the tar sands, the maintenance of increased production long into the future, and as a result the increase in greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. Greenhouse emissions constitute a fundamental issue that must be addressed immediately. Unfortunately greenhouse gas emissions related to the tar sands development have been increasing steadily for several decades (*Englander et al. 2013, Fig. 3).  Further increases are not acceptable.

CPAWS-OV Position: CPAWS-OV opposes the reversal/construction of the two proposed eastern pipelines which would carry tar sands bitumen across our region. We consider global warming to be a fundamental issue of great and urgent concern, and the two proposed eastern pipelines will result in a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions as described above. In addition, pipelines leaks are inevitable, as is clear from the documentation of oil spills or other pipeline safety incidents in Canada, which indicates that on average they now occur at a rate of 94 per year or 1 per 769 km of pipeline. Therefore, we oppose these projects because of the effect that the inevitable oil spills will have on sensitive ecosystems and aquatic species in the Algonquin to Adirondacks area (as discussed in more detail on our A2A webpage) and elsewhere along their routes from the tar sands to the east coast.

In order to address the urgent issue of global warming, it is critical that there be no further expansion in the transportation system for fossil fuels, whether through the construction of pipelines or other means such as rail transport. Instead, a major campaign to conserve energy is required, along with a push to increase the use of truly green energy sources.  Until Canada develops an energy strategy, as well as a strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it is irresponsible to even consider allowing such huge projects that would lock us into a high carbon and export driven path far into the future.

What you can do to oppose the pipelines:

a) Inform yourself on the two proposed pipeline projects and get out to rallies and events in your community.
b) Sign the Northern Ontario Petition
c) Sign The Council of Canadians Petition
d) Contact your local MP or MPP and demand the halt of both pipeline projects.

To learn more about our Fundamental Issues committee see our FI webpage

Resources

Maps:
TransCanada Energy East Pipeline:
Detailed route through Ottawa via Ottawa Citizen
Ecology Ottawa Map
TransCanada Map

Line 9B Pipeline Reversal:
Enbridge Map

Where to go for more information:
The Council of Canadians
Tar Free 613 - Ecology Ottawa information
Natural Resources Defense Council report: Going in Reverse
Mowat Report
Pembina Report

CBC documents on the number of oil spills in Canada:
Interactive pipeline incidents
Incident rate doubled


*Reference: Englander, J.G., Bharadwaj, S., and Brandt, A.R., 2013. Historical trends in greenhouse gas emissions of the Alberta oil sands (2070-2010). Environmental Research Letter 8, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/8/4/044036

header photo by SkyTruth  on flickr