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Our Risk, Their Reward is the slogan or rallying cry for the Stop Energy East campaign and tour. Its purpose is to bring attention to another Canadian government pipeline project – the TransCanada Energy East.

Our Risk, Their Reward
No Energy East Poster

 Our Risk, Their Reward

“The TransCanada Energy East project would be the largest oil pipeline in North America. It would ship 1.1 million barrels of oil every day through Ontario towards Saint John, NB. This massive pipeline puts water, land and air at risk,” according to Energy East.

TransCanada PipeLines’ East-to-West project would involve 3,000 km of 50+ year old natural gas pipeline (TransCanada’s mainline) being converted into a tar sands oil pipeline. This pipeline traverses rivers, runs adjacent to lakes, and flows beside vital drinking water sources. For example, in North Bay, Ontario, it crosses the east-end of Trout Lake, which provides the municipal drinking water for over 50,000 people.

The Risks (source: Energy East – Our Risk, Their Reward)

Pipelines spill. Converting an existing pipeline heightens spill risks in Saskatchewan and Ontario, and a diluted bitumen spill threatens irreversible damage to our precious waterways.

Reckless tar sands expansion. Energy East is the biggest pipeline proposal in Canada to date, and is part of a much larger pipeline push by Big Oil. It is a critical part of industry plans for a threefold expansion of the tar sands.

Fracking our future. In addition to transporting fracked Bakken shale oil – the substance that exploded in the Lac Megantic tragedy – Energy East would make Ontario and Quebec more reliant on fracked gas imports.

Disrespecting Indigenous rights. The pipeline would cross through the land of more than 50 First Nations that have the right to Free Prior Informed Consent, including the right to say “no.”

Communities also have the right to say “no.” Communities in B.C. and the U.S. are rejecting export tar sands pipelines, why should Eastern Canadians bear these risks?

Ontario and Quebec may face energy shortages. Energy East could lead to dramatic reductions in access to western gas for Ontario and Quebec, which could increase costs and cause shortages.

Runaway climate change. Swift action is needed to address climate change. Tar sands crude produces even more pollution than conventional oil. Any tar sands expansion would significantly contribute to Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions.

A bad investment. Investing in fossil fuel infrastructure detracts from needed investments in a green energy future.

Their Reward (source: Energy East – Our Risk, Their Reward)

Export pipelines make big bucks for Big Oil. Energy East is primarily about getting western crude to eastern coastal waters. Why? Faced with fierce opposition to tar sands pipelines in B.C. and the U.S., Big Oil needs to find a different way to get its crude to international markets. If the pipelines can’t go west, Big Oil will send them east to ship to international markets in order to maximize profits.

Our Risk, Their Reward

Five Reasons to Stop the Energy East Pipeline

1. It would pump diluted bitumen from the Tar Sands through ecologically sensitive watersheds. Diluted bitumen sinks in water making it almost impossible to clean up as seen in Kalamazoo River spill in Michigan. Cleanup efforts are ongoing and will end up costing over $1 billion.

2. To save money, TransCanada will convert a 2,000 km-long, 40 year-old natural gas pipeline instead of building a new one. This increases the concern about the potential for a major spill or rupture

3. It would allow an increase in tar sands production of up to 750,000 barrels per day. This would mean even more toxic exposure for people in downstream communities and would generate up to 32 million tonnes of carbon emissions each year – equivalent to the annual emissions of all the cars in Ontario

4. It isn’t about meeting eastern Canadians’ energy needs or getting oil to eastern refineries. Up to 1 million barrels of the pipeline’s daily haul is expected to be exported, unrefined.

5. We get all the risks while TransCanada gets the reward. (Sources: The Council of Canadians, #StopEnergyEast)

Say NO to TransCanada’s Energy East Pipeline

Published April 9, 2013
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In 2013 when TransCanada first announced its Energy East pipeline project, opposition to the project began immediately. Within days, thousands of people signed petitions and joined forces to block yet another pipeline development. Within months, hundreds of events were planned and dozens of organizations and groups joined in efforts to demonstrate the growing tide of opposition. Ecology Ottawa has spearheaded #TarFree613:

Even if a spill never happened, we know this project is meant to allow the Alberta Tar Sands to expand. This means more greenhouse gases, and more climate change impacts. That’s a certainty.

This pipeline is bad for our city and bad for our climate. We say no to tar sands passing through Ottawa.

The opposition to the Energy East pipeline is skyrocketing. Much like the KeystoneXL pipeline which has little chance of getting approved by President Obama, the Energy East pipeline will suffer a similar fate. At recent Ontario Energy Board Hearings in Ottawa (April 7, 2014) an overwhelming number of presentations and  interventions were in opposition to the TransCanada project.

Ontario Energy Board Hearing – Ottawa Says No to Energy East

Published on May 1, 2014
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Mobilize, Strategize, Otherwise, Bitumen!

Rolly Montpellier, founder of BoomerWarriorRolly Montpellier is the Founder and Managing Editor of BoomerWarrior.Org. He’s also a  Climate Reality leader (Climate Reality Leadership Corps), a blogger, an activist and a Climate Change presenter.
He has been a contributor to the Climate Change Guide, The Canadian, ClimateMama, World Daily, Georgian Bay News, The Elephant, CounterCurrents and 350Ottawa.

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  1. Isn’t this how the rich always work? socialize the risk, capitalize the rewards…only in this case the short-term financial rewards are so great humanity must say “NO”


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