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ENERGY EAST: PIPING TAR SANDS OIL THROUGH REGINA

Posted by strattof on April 20, 2014

TransCanada Pipelines wants to ship tar sands oil from Alberta to eastern Canada and beyond. Energy East is its proposed method: a 4,400 km stretch of old and new pipelines.

The Saskatchewan portion of the pipeline would be converted from an already existing natural gas pipeline originally built in 1958. It would carry 1.1 million barrels of tar sands oil a day.

This pipeline cuts right through Regina, running down the back alleys of Harbour Landing. It will put our city, along with the wider community, at great risk.

TRANSCANADA’S POOR SAFETY RECORD

TransCanada claims its pipelines are safe. Its safety record tells a different story. In its initial year of operation, TransCanada’s first Keystone pipeline, constructed in 2010, had 12 spills, including one that spilled 79,493 litres of oil in North Dakota.

The Energy East pipeline plan is extra risky: 

  • The Saskatchewan portion of the pipeline is over 50 years old.
  • This pipeline was constructed to carry natural gas, not tar sands oil, which is much thicker and more acidic and corrosive and must be pumped at a higher pressure.

If Energy East is approved, the question is not if, but when there will be pipeline leaks and spills.

ENERGY EAST: A HAZARDOUS PIPELINE

Energy East will put hundreds of communities across Canada, including Regina, at risk of a tar sands oil spill. A spill would be hazardous to the health and quality of life of thousands of Canadians.

THIS COULD HAPPEN IN REGINA

On March 29 2013, the citizens of Mayflower Arkansas woke to find their streets flooded with tar sands oil. An old Exxon pipeline had ruptured, spilling more than 1 million litres of tar sands oil in community neighbourhoods and waterways.

HAZARDOUS TO HEALTH

Conventional oil fumes are toxic enough, but tar sands oil contains even more poisonous materials.

In Mayflower, residents showed symptoms of exposure to harmful tar sands oil chemicals, including benzene and toluene, a month after the spill. Benzene is a known carcinogen, while toluene can cause nerve damage.

HAZARDOUS TO QUALITY OF LIFE

A spill would contaminate the soil, turning lawns, backyards, playgrounds, and parks into toxic places. The land would be damaged for years and property values would plummet.

NOT IN OUR BACKYARD! 

ENERGY EAST: AN ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARD

The purpose of the Energy East pipeline is to expand Canadian tar sands production. The expansion will bring about a significant increase in Canada’s carbon emissions.

According to a Pembina Institute report released in February, Energy East will:

  • Add an additional 30-32 million tonnes of carbon emissions each year ‒ the equivalent of adding more than seven million cars to Canada’s roads; and
  • Help spur 650,000 to 750,000 barrels per day of additional production from the tar sands.

Earlier this month, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its most dire warning about how the rapid pouring of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is already altering earthly existence in every region of the globe, including Canada.

If the world doesn’t do anything about mitigating the emissions of greenhouse gases and the extent of climate change continues to increase, then the very social stability of human systems could be at stake” (Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).

TAR SANDS MADNESS

  • The Harper government supports Energy East, along with other tar sands pipeline projects.
  • The Harper government subsidizes the tar sands industry to the tune of $1.3 billion per year.
  • Since taking office in 2006, the Harper government has been weakening environmental regulations in order to protect the tar sands.

EARTH DAY

Tuesday, April 22, is EARTH DAY, a time to reflect on the catastrophic damage we are doing to the earth systems that give us life, and a time to start taking action to reverse that damage.

TAKE ACTION FOR EARTH DAY

Learn more about the impact on climate of Energy East. Read the Pembina report: www.pembina.org/pub/2519

Contact Prime Minister Stephen Harper and your MP and let them know:

→ You do not want tar sands oil pumped through Regina;

→ You want the federal government to stop subsidizing tar sands development and to start investing in sustainable energy; and

→ You want the federal government to implement strong environmental regulations.

Follow the lead of Nobel laureate and anti-apartheid campaigner, Desmond Tutu:

“People of conscience need to break their ties with corporations financing the injustice of climate change. We can, for instance, boycott events, sports teams and media programming sponsored by fossil-fuel companies. We can demand that the advertisements of energy companies carry health warnings. We can encourage more of our universities and municipalities and cultural institutions to cut their ties to the fossil fuel industry. We can organize car-free days and build broader societal awareness.”

To read the rest of Desmond Tutu’s inspiring essay, visit http://bit.ly/1qyvSpU or google “tutu guardian climate change.”

 

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