submitted by Sustainable North Grenville
Sustainable North Grenville is quietly celebrating yesterday’s announcement that TransCanada Pipeline has officially terminated the company’s proposed Energy East pipeline project. The pipeline, which would have shipped 1.1 million barrels of diluted bitumen across the Rideau River through North Grenville, posed a direct threat to the community’s land and water, particularly the area’s drinking water aquifer.
“We are relieved about this announcement,” said Chris Weissflog, a spokesperson for SNG. “In the first place, it is very probable that there is insufficient market potential for tar sands oil to guarantee that the project would make money. But when you add the climate test to the National Energy Board (NEB) process, the pipeline’s true environmental impact would be realized, and TransCanada recognizes that.”
Since the pipeline proposal was announced in 2013, Sustainable North Grenville has been working to raise awareness of the dangers of such a project to the community. SNG made several presentations to North Grenville Council, hundreds of people signed petitions, and dozens of volunteers organized local events and public meetings. A local crowd-funding effort stopped TransCanada from sponsoring a local festival in Kemptville. In 2015, SNG had applied for and received Commenter Status at the planned NEB hearings.
“New tar sands pipelines don’t make sense—economically or environmentally— in a world that is addressing climate change and moving away from fossil fuels,” said Ian Angus, a local environmental expert and author. “And, thankfully, our water supply now won’t be put at risk.”
“So many residents of North Grenville thought the proposed Energy East Pipeline was a bad idea from the beginning,” said area resident and SNG member Tom Graham. “We’re happy that TransCanada has finally come to the same conclusion. Thanks to the many concerned citizens and local volunteers for expressing their opposition. Their hard work has paid off.”
Sustainable North Grenville was created in 2010 by a group of concerned citizens to help raise awareness about sustainability issues in North Grenville and to share information with those who would like to see the community become more sustainable. A series of articles on the pipeline issue may be found at: http://www.sustainablenorthgrenville.ca/initiative-energy-east-pipeline.