By Tom Cook
First published in The Chronicle Journal January 21, 2017
The proposed Energy East pipeline is to carry tarsands bitumen 4,500 kilometres from Alberta to New Brunswick for export. Of this, approximately 3,000 kilometres will be 50- to 60-year-old natural gas pipeline through Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario to Cornwall. There will be new sections in Alberta and from Cornwall to New Brunswick.I have several reasons to be concerned with the 3,000-kilometre old section.
First, it’s been buried in the ground since 1954 or so. To me that looks like 60 years. How do we know that it’s not all rusted on the outside?
Second, it was made to carry a gas, not a liquid. To transport bitumen which is full of sand, thinned 25 per cent with lighter gases like naphtha and benzene, so it will flow, is a whole different thing.