By Shawn McCarthy, May 20, 2014. Source: The Globe and Mail
TransCanada chief executive Russ Girling expects the Energy East pipeline to easily pass regulatory muster. Photo: Jeff McIntosh/THE CANADIAN PRESS
First Nations activists are turning their attention to TransCanada Corp.’s proposed Energy East project, vowing to mount the same kind of public opposition that threatens the Keystone XL pipeline in the United States andEnbridge Inc.’s Northern Gateway in British Columbia.
Some 70 First Nations leaders met in Winnipeg recently to plan a strategy they hope will block TransCanada’s ambitious plan to ship more than 1 million barrels a day of crude from Western Canada to refiners and export terminals in the East, despite widespread political support for the $12-billion project.
TransCanada has been holding consultations with communities across the country, including some 155 First Nations, to inform them of the Energy East project and seek their support. The company has hired Phil Fontaine, former chief of the Assembly of First Nations, to represent it in meetings. But one leading activist says the company has a tough sell.
“In this era of the Harper Conservative government, there is dramatic pressure that has been placed on the shoulders of First Nations peoples, with our constitutionally protected rights, to defend Canada’s air, water and earth from the agenda of Big Oil and other extractive industries like the mining sector and the forestry sector,” Clayton Thomas-Muller, a Manitoba Cree who helped organize the Winnipeg session, said in an interview. Continue reading
By Steve Horn, May 5, 2014. Source: DeSmogBlog
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
TransCanada admitted for the first time that tar sands oil is now flowing throughKeystone XL‘s southern leg, now rebranded the Gulf Coast Pipeline Project. The company confirmed the pipeline activity in its 2014 quarter one earnings call.
Asked by Argus Media reporter Iris Kuo how much of the current 530,000 barrels per day of oil flowing from the Cushing, Oklahoma to Port Arthur, Texas pipeline is tar sands (“heavy crude,” in industry lingo), TransCanada CEO Russ Girling confirmed what many had already suspected.
“I don’t have that exact mix, but it does have the ability to take the domestic lights as well as any heavies that find a way down to the Cushing market, so it is a combination of the heavies and the lights,”said Girling. “I just don’t know what the percentage is.”
The Keystone Pipeline System — of which Keystone XL‘s northern leg is phase four of four phases — is and always has been slated to carry Alberta’s tar sands to targeted markets. So the announcement is far from a shocker. Continue reading
Filed under Oil, Tar Sands
April 15, 2014. Source: Idle No More
TransCanada President and CEO Russ Girling (2nd L) announces the new Energy East Pipeline during a news conference in Calgary, Alberta, August 1, 2013.
Last year, TransCanada announced their intention to build a 4,500 km pipeline from the tar sands in Alberta, already devastating many Indigenous communities, to New Brunswick, where communities like Elsipogtog had to fight to stop dangerous fracking last year.
A group of concerned Indigenous activists recently met in Winnipeg to discuss how Indigenous Peoples across Canada could work together to stop this pipeline (watch them on APTN here).
This pipeline passes through major cities including Winnipeg, Ottawa, and Montreal, but also through the territory of over 150 Indigenous communities.Mi’qmaq women took action against the #EnergyEast pipeline proposal and shut down the Maritime Energy Association meeting in Halifax, Nova Scotia on March 31, with the support of hundreds of young peoples who were converging for the PowerShift Atlantic conference. Check out the photos here and read their press release here. Continue reading
By Katie Valentine, March 20, 2014. Source: Think Progress
After countless marches, arrests, Congressional votes, and editorials, the five-and-a-half year battle over the controversial Keystone XL pipeline is nearing its end. If a recent ruling in Nebraska doesn’t delay the decision further, America could find out as soon as this spring whether or not the pipeline, which has become a focal point in America’s environmental movement, will be built.
But while critics and proponents of Keystone XL have sparred over the last few years, numerous pipelines — many of them slated to carry the same Canadian tar sands crude as Keystone — have been proposed, permitted, and even seen construction begin in the U.S. and Canada. Some rival Keystone XL in size and capacity; others, when linked up with existing and planned pipelines, would carry more oil than the 1,179-mile pipeline.
With the public eye turned on Keystone, some of these pipelines have faced little opposition. But it’s not just new pipelines that worry Carl Weimer, executive director of the Pipeline Safety Trust. Weimer said companies are beginning to revamp old pipelines by expanding their capacity or reversing their flow, changes that can be troubling if proper safety measures aren’t put in place.
By Amber Hildebrandt, February 4, 2014. Source: CBC News
Aerial view of July 20, 2009 Peace River Mainline explosion in northern Alberta. Photo: CBC
A CBC News investigation has unearthed a critical report that the federal regulator effectively buried for several years about a rupture on a trouble-prone TransCanada natural gas pipeline.
On July 20, 2009, the Peace River Mainline in northern Alberta exploded, sending 50-metre-tall flames into the air and razing a two-hectare wooded area.
Members of Dene Tha’ First Nations community of Chateh, about 50 kilometres away from the site of the blast, also want to know why the report was not released until now. (Courtesy of Dene Tha’ First Nation)
Few people ever learned of the rupture — one of the largest in the past decade — other than the Dene Tha’ First Nation, whose traditional territory it happened on. Continue reading
Global Justice Ecology Project teams up with the Sojourner Truth show on KPFK radio for a weekly Earth Minute and Earth Watch interview.
Note: From GJEP Board member Clayton Thomas-Muller about the explosion and the growing resistance to the tar sands:
I am Back home in Capitol City after a trip to Toronto to meet with campaigners from Defenders of the Land and Idle No More and the emerging Energy east Campaign. I wanted to express that we are in a wave of reaction from our foes in the Energy & Extractive Industry Sectors and from the right wing media and Canadian Government. You will see many attempts on both sides of the border to discredit the incredible resiliency of our Indigenous Peoples and our powerful Indigenous Social movement rising with other social movements across the island. They will attempt to use systemic mechanisms built on race, class and gender divisions but make no mistake, we got them on the run. Read the rest of his facebook post here
BY KILEY KROH, JANUARY 26, 2014 Source: ThinkProgress.org
CREDIT: YOUTUBE/ROBERTO GOMEZ
A natural gas pipeline operated by TransCanada Corp. exploded and caught fire in the Canadian province of Manitoba on Saturday, shutting off gas supplies for as many as 4,000 residents in sub-zero temperatures.
“We could see these massive 200- to 300-meter high flames just shooting out of the ground and it literally sounded like a jet plane,” resident Paul Rawluk told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
Watch a video of the explosion here:
There were no injuries and the area was evacuated as a precaution, according to the National Energy Board. TransCanada said the fire was extinguished by Saturday afternoon, more than 12 hours after it started, but in order to repair the line, they shut off the natural gas supply to several municipalities.
Temperatures dropped to -20 degrees Celsius overnight.
Niverville Deputy Mayor John Funk said that “service is expected to be lost for minimum of 24 hours to multiple days” in a statement on the town’s website. Funk also said that “Manitoba Hydro is asking residents to turn down thermostats and minimize use of electric heaters.”
By Jenny Uechi, January 6, 2014. Source: Vancouver Observer
Photo: David P. Ball
Moments after Prime Minister Stephen Harper took the stage at the Vancouver Board of Trade event downtown, Shit Harper Did activist Sean Devlin and another protester, Shireen Soofi, from No One is Illegal, appeared holding black and white signs reading “Climate Justice Now” and “The Conservatives Take Climate Change Seriously”.
Onlookers gasped in shock as security stormed up and threw the protesters down from the stage, then violently pushed them through a black curtain behind the stage from where the prime minister entered.
“I just had on black clothes and an apron that I picked up from Value Village,” Devlin said, when asked how he and Soofi managed to get into the room. “I was arrested with mischief, but then they let me go. No charges…but it felt like we were supposed to be there. We were supposed to be there.”
“They weren’t wearing a lanyard issued by the Board. They appeared to be dressed as serving staff. We had no idea they were there,” said Vancouver Board of Trade CEO and President Iain Black, who asked Harper questions about the Canadian economy and environment at a Q&A event at the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel.
By Peter Moskowitz, December 29, 2013. Source: Al Jazeera America
This aerial photo shows a tar sands mine facility near Fort McMurray, in Alberta, Canada. Photo: Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press/AP
Scientists have found a nearly 7,500-square-mile ring of land and water contaminated by mercury surrounding the tar sands in Alberta, where energy companies are producing and shipping oil throughout Canada and the U.S.
Government scientists are preparing to publish a report that found levels of mercury are up to 16 times higher around the tar sand operations, principally due to the excavation and transportation of the bitumen in the sands by oil and gas companies, according to Postmedia-owned Canadian newspapers like the Vancouver Sun.
Environment Canada researcher Jane Kirk recently presented the findings at a toxicology conference in Nashville.
The revelations add to a growing concern over the environmental impacts of the tar sands. Many environmentalists charge that the exploitation of the sands for oil will lead to an increase in carbon emissions, the destruction and contamination of land and water and health problems for Canadians. The debate over the tar sands crossed over into the United States when energy company TransCanada proposed building the Keystone XL pipeline to transport the crude oil to the southeastern U.S. for refining and distribution.