The Tipping Point of Climate and Democracy!
[not to mention the rest of the world as we know it]
Welcome to our Current Focus on Energy East
TransCanada Corporation’s Longest Tarsands Pipeline
** Petition Alert **
Since the summer of 2013, CUSP has increasingly turned it sights toward pipelines, specifically the Energy East Pipeline being planned by TransCanada Corporation to carry a colossal quantity of diluted bitumen, 1.1 million barrels per day. This is a perilous threat to our region. It would pass through, under or beside countless wetlands, lakes and rivers, including those running into Lake Superior. It would affect communities and ecosystems along its path and beyond. We have seen the impossibility of cleaning bitumen spills in other places, and fossil fuel interests simply have not shown they care about the enormity of their impact. Pipelines can never be leak-proof. Leaks will happen somewhere, sometime. One spill is one too many.
CUSP is not ignoring the other method of bitumen transport, rail, but at present, the determined intentions of TransCanada are the most threatening.
The fossil fuel industry has proclaimed as an undeniable fact that nothing can interfere with the inevitable transport of bitumen one way or another. That leads to their justification of pipelines as the safest and most cost-effective method.
CUSP and like-minded groups and individuals reject that “fact” entirely and say that bitumen transport must be stopped, period. The fundamental goal must be an end to the greenhouse gas emissions that are fueling disastrous climate changes around the globe. Continued bitumen production and consumption promise to vastly increase greenhouse gas production, as well as pose other unacceptable environmental and health hazards.
Apparently not many Canadians have noticed that our nation has sold its soul to what Linda McQuaig has called Big Fossil, the almost unimaginably huge and wealthy conglomerate of global fossil fuel giants. The Harper government is simply an enabling branch plant of Big Fossil which pulls all of its strings. Harper supporters have been enticed by Big Fossil’s baubles: new versions of the whiskey and trinkets offered to indigenous peoples in former centuries. We are the new colonials and Big Fossil is the new Empire.
There are features that need to be watched for in Big Fossil’s sales pitches, including that of TransCanada Corp. Here are two examples.
First is the word, oil. Bitumen is not oil. It is a gooey, sticky, black, gritty tar-like substance, so thick it has to be diluted with toxic volatile hydrocarbons before it can be transported. The mixture has been named dilbit, though Big Fossil calls it crude oil in their messages to the public.
Second is the impression given that Energy East will be a saviour to Canada, especially the Maritime provinces. Make no mistake, Energy East’s main purpose is export: to transport the vast majority of the bitumen overseas. There may be some extra jobs at the time of construction, but in the long term, not many. Eastern refineries are presently nowhere near even making the most of nearby offshore oil. Why would they be better off using Alberta bitumen?
If you want to add your voice to growing chorus of Davids taking on the mighty Goliath, please sign the petition in the next column.
OUR RISK, THEIR REWARD
Say NO to the Energy East Pipeline in Northern Ontario
CUSP has joined with Ontario Nature, the Thunder Bay Council of Canadians and Environment North to circulate a petition to be sent to Thunder Bay’s Mayor, Keith Hobbs, the Thunder Bay City Council, Chiefs of regional First Nations, and mayors, reeves and councilors across Northwestern Ontario.
It reads as follows:
I am deeply concerned by TransCanada Corporation’s Energy East proposal to export tar sands oil in converted natural gas pipelines through Northern Ontario.
First, Energy East is not compatible with the urgent need for efforts to hold back accelerating climate change. Investment in new, massive fossil-fuel infrastructure will lock us into growing carbon emissions at a time when we must quickly reduce them. If allowed, Canada will not be able to meet any meaningful climate target. Neither will it allow us to develop new alternative energies.
Secondly, it is not safe. As a natural gas pipeline this TransCanada Mainline has had 13 large explosions since 1992 and at least 64 spillage incidents since 2000. Stress corrosion cracking in an old pipeline will, without doubt, result in more ruptures. The bitumen itself is virtually impossible to clean up, and the diluents which liquefy it are explosive for 24-72 hours after a spill.
Finally, just one pipeline rupture could cause significant and permanent damage to the local economy, the health of our citizens, and to the sensitive ecosystems within the Lake Superior watershed. All of these things far outweigh the perceived benefits. I call on Mayor Hobbs, the Thunder Bay City Council, Chiefs, mayors and councilors across Northwestern Ontario to examine this issue and to take a stand against TransCanada’s Energy East proposal.
Please click here to sign.
The account of our Real Facts Rally at TransCanada’s promotion show in Thunder Bay, September 24, 2013.
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