News & Events


Energy East Pipeline Campaign Update – September 23rd

Last Wednesday (Sept. 18), Sustainable North Grenville hosted a very informative and well-attended session regarding the proposed Energy East pipeline. This proposed project would be sending tar sands diluted bitumen through a converted natural gas pipeline which crosses the Rideau River at the northern tip of North Grenville.

The two hour session included three speakers and a discussion period. Over 110 people turned up to learn more. Mayor David Gordon and Councillor Terry Butler were present, and the mayor responded to questions from the audience. Sommer Casgrain-Robertson, General Manager of the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA), was also in attendance, and was able to provide information on RVCA’s role in the issue.

The speakers were:

Andrea Harden-Donahue, Council of Canadians

Ben Powless, Ecology Ottawa

Ian Angus, Sustainable North Grenville

Together, they covered national, regional, and local perspectives on this proposed pipeline. The speakers have distilled their informative, detailed presentations into a few main take-home points:

  • This pipeline isn’t about meeting Canadian energy needs, it is about profit for private companies. The crude shipped will go to the highest bidder and we know that the U.S., Europe, China and India are in line.
  • This pipeline would jeopardize Ontario’s access to Canadian conventional gas and make us more reliant on imported fracked gas which has serious environmental and social costs.
  • Jobs generated by the pipeline would primarily be short-term while a pipeline or tanker spill would put long-term jobs dependent on clean water and land at risk. TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline job promises in the U.S. have been shown to be significantly overestimated.
  • This pipeline is a last ditch effort because alternative pipelines were rejected in BC and the US.
  • The pipeline doesn’t make us safer. Trains will still carry oil through North Grenville, and having an oil pipeline beside a natural gas line (as in the proposed project) is much riskier than natural gas alone (as in the existing situation).
  • Pipeline spills are inevitable, costly, dangerous, and unacceptable.
  • A crude oil leak could be catastrophic for Ontario’s only UNESCO Heritage Site, the Rideau River and canal – yet the pipeline passes right under the waterway.
  • 70% of North Grenville homes use wells drilled into an aquifer that is rated “Highly Vulnerable” to pollution from above. An oil spill anywhere in Ottawa or North Grenville could poison that essential source of drinking water.
  • We have the power to stop this by all working together, which people across the province, country, and continent are doing right now!

To that end, Sustainable North Grenville is continuing to organize a local campaign to raise awareness among our citizens and to ensure our voices are heard.

What you can do:

  • Download a copy of the SNG Pipeline Petition
  • Talk to your neighbours, friends and family about the pipeline and ask for their signature. Canvass your neighbourhood to raise awareness and get signatures. Completed petitions can be turned in to The Branch Restaurant anytime before October 9. To help you talk about the issue with others, you can use the points above, or look at these other useful resources, below.
  • Watch the YouTube video of the Sept. 18 session. Share through your networks so others can be informed.
  • Take your questions and concerns to the October 2 Open House hosted by TransCanada Corp. at the North Grenville Municipal Centre, from 4-8 pm.
  • SNG Pipeline Info Card v2. Print them off and share them in local businesses.
  • Provide a donation to SNG to help us pay for printing, meeting space, speakers, or other items that may be needed for this campaign.
  • Write to your MP, MPP
  • Join SNG for a meeting

The successful public awareness session was just the beginning. It is important for us to continue our work on this issue.

 

Resources:

Council of Canadians:

Countering Energy East Pipeline Spin: Talking points: http://www.canadians.org/sites/default/files/publications/energyeast-pipeline-spin.pdf

Factsheet: TransCanada Energy East: Another Broken Pipeline Plan: http://www.canadians.org/sites/default/files/publications/energyeast-pipeline_0.pdf

Ecology Ottawa:

Tar Free 613 – http://ecologyottawa.ca/tar-free-613/

Fact Sheet – http://ecologyottawa.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Guide-to-Talking-about-Energy-East.pdf

Sustainable North Grenville:

North Grenville’s Highly Vulnerable Aquifer

What are the risks?