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TransCanada would like to reassure people who rely on natural gas to heat their homes, and to fuel businesses, schools and hospitals in Ontario and Quebec of one thing: we will continue to ensure adequate pipeline capacity is in place to meet your energy needs today, and in the future.
In his column, “If Alberta oil heads east, benefits for Ontario are hard to see” economist Jeff Rubin makes a number of errors about TransCanada’s proposed Energy East crude oil pipeline.
If the Energy East project were to be built, it would deliver another 1.1 million barrels a day to the Atlantic Ocean where it could end up in coastal refineries and improve the pricing picture even further. The benefits for Ontario are harder to see.
Energy East will create 10,000 full-time jobs – good paying jobs for Canadians to provide for their families. In Ontario, Energy East will create 2,300 direct jobs during development and construction and 6,000 spin-off jobs.
Then there are the longer-term benefits – $13 billion in GDP for Ontario’s economy over the project’s lifetime, and $3.5 billion in government tax revenues to repair roads, build schools and hospitals, upgrade crumbling buildings – the list goes on. For many communities, the money TransCanada will pay will replace lost revenue from mills, mines and other facilities that have been shut down. The $13 billion that the project will contribute to Ontario’s GDP during development, construction and operations is equivalent to the annual contribution from Ontario’s auto industry.
An offer from TransCanada to build a new natural gas line to the province seems good on the surface, but considerably less magnanimous when you consider it’s asking the Ontario Energy Board to approve a 52.3-per-cent increase to the rates it charges to some of its customers. Why natural gas users in eastern Ontario should subsidize the transit of Alberta bitumen through their backyard remains unclear.
We are building new pipeline infrastructure in Ontario to ensure Ontarians will receive gas when they need it to heat and cool their homes and cook their food. TransCanada is committed to putting forward a proposal to the National Energy Board that ensures the costs for our natural gas customers will not increase as a result of Energy East.
Nor will Energy East be ‘subsidized’ by Ontario and Quebec natural gas customers. In fact, we expect gas transmission costs to drop because the Energy East conversion will reduce the Canadian Mainline cost of service which will benefit our shippers.
If Alberta can be considered the culprit behind Canada’s sad track record on carbon emissions, then Ontario’s acquiescence to the Energy East pipeline would make it a willing accomplice.
The facts show Energy East will not substantially affect the rate of extraction or combustion of Canadian oil sands crude and its global impact. More importantly, if Energy East is not built, the oil will move by truck, rail and tanker instead of a pipeline, the safest and most environmentally responsible method of transporting oil and natural gas over long distances.
Read the full version of TransCanada’s Letter to the Editor
Complete article: Globe and Mail – Published July 7, 2014
We wish to respond to an article published in the Kenora Daily Miner and News on May 10, 2014, in which we found several incorrect statements.
“Council of Canadians speaker Mark Calzavara issued a scathing condemnation of TransCanada’s record on pipeline safety, citing eight major events in the past 20 years. He attributed the failures are often the result of stress corrosion cracking, the structural deterioration of the steel pipe after a period of years buried underground.”
No one has a stronger interest than TransCanada in making sure that our pipelines operate safely and reliably. We take extensive preventative measures to ensure that our pipelines are as safe as possible. This is why we spend an average of $900 million every year on pipeline integrity and proactive inspection and maintenance programs to ensure that our infrastructure systems work the way they should. Our goal is zero pipeline incidents that impact public safety or the environment.
“He (Calzavara) said the Energy East project and the proposed conversion of the pipeline designed for natural gas to transport diluted bitumen from the tar sands is a recipe for environmental disaster.”
Repurposing pipelines is something TransCanada has already done successfully throughout its 60-year history. The most recent example is the conversion of 860 km of the Mainline for the Keystone Pipeline System, which has safely delivered more than 600 million barrels of crude oil to the United States since it began operating in July 2010.
“This particular project is not safe, the pipeline is 40 years old and prone to stress corrosion cracking.”
As safety is an essential part of everything we do, we will subject the Mainline pipeline to a thorough cleaning and inspections with high-resolution tools to identify potential issues. Once its integrity has been re-assessed, we will install electronic leak-detection systems that allow TransCanada to monitor pipeline operations 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from its high-tech control centre in Calgary.
“Diluted bitumen is the worst thing to pump. There’s potential for a greater volume of oil spills that are much more difficult to clean up.”
Several studies conducted by respected scientific research organizations, including U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Battelle Memorial Institute, Penspen Institute and Natural Resources Canada, have shown that diluted bitumen (dilbit) behaves the same way as conventional crude oil and does not pose any additional risk when transported through pipelines.Cleaning up dilbit poses the same challenges as cleaning up conventional oil. TransCanada works hard to implement site-specific Emergency Response Plans in collaboration with local emergency responders to ensure quick response in the unlikely case of an incident.
“Why buy time and risk environmental and economic disaster for the sake of an ageing energy industry and outdated technology that likely won’t exist another 50 years from now?”
A recent International Energy Agency report found world energy demand will continue to grow for the next 20 years. We need to balance the world’s energy needs with stable and reasonable options for Canadians. While we are safely building pipelines to meet our shared need for oil and gas products today, companies like TransCanada are also part of the solution to the challenge of climate change.
Complete article: Kenora Daily Miner and News – Published May 10, 2014
An article published on April 29, 2014 in the Cornwall Standard-Freeholder cited some professional activists giving false information about our Energy East project. We wish to correct the record.
“We shouldn’t just allow a mega-project like this to come into our community without debate,” she (Council of Canadians chairperson Maud Barlow) said.
Since announcing the project in August 2013, TransCanada has engaged nearly 500 communities along the pipeline’s route, and held more than 80 open houses in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick to ensure we can answer questions and get feedback from First Nation and Métis communities, landowners and local community members.
Barlow said most water treatment plants are not prepared for leaky or ruptured pipelines carrying bitumen and managers do not have an emergency plan in place.
One concern brought up in recent open houses was the need to protect watersheds. We agree. We will use special measures when crossing waterways, including thicker-walled pipe, a cathodic protection that prevents external corrosion and shut-off valves on each side of major water-crossings that will be remotely controlled by TransCanada’s high-tech Operations Control Centre, which will monitor the pipeline 24/7.
Along with these safety measures, the Energy East teams will implement comprehensive Emergency Response Plans (ERP) that include the placement of specialized equipment and trained field crews along the entire route as well as regular training exercises.
The problem with the Energy East pipeline is it will be carrying bitumen, which needs to be mixed with chemicals in order for it to flow through the pipeline and if there is a leak, it separates and sinks making clean-up difficult, Barlow explained.
The proposed Energy East pipeline will ship different types of oils – conventional light and heavy oil, oil from shale deposits (light oil), and oil from the oil sands both in the form of synthetic crude oil (light oil) and diluted bitumen (heavy oil). Several studies conducted by some of the world’s leading and most respected scientific research organizations (U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Battelle Memorial Institute, Penspen Institute and Natural Resources Canada…) have all concluded that diluted bitumen (oil sands bitumen diluted to flow into the pipeline) behaves the same way as conventional crude oils.
So like conventional crude oils, dilbit will float on water and has the potential to sink if it is allowed to stay in the water for an extended time, making a swift clean-up essential. This is why TransCanada works hard to develop and implement multiple, site-specific Emergency Response Plans in collaboration with local emergency responders to ensure quick response in the case of an incident.
Complete article: Cornwall Standard Freeholder – Published April 29, 2014
We wish to refute this statement by Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow published in The Nugget, and provide her with evidence that the $12-billion Energy East project will bring benefits to our provinces and Canada as a whole.
“There’s no argument for this pipeline. It’s an export pipeline and we don’t need it,” Barlow said.
Quebec and New Brunswick currently import more than 700,000 barrels of oil every day – or 86 percent of their refinery needs – from countries such as Algeria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria. At current oil prices, this is over $75 million drained out of the Canadian economy – every single day. Energy East proposes to connect Western Canada’s resources to Eastern Canada’s needs. Greater supplies of domestic crude would improve the financial viability of eastern Canadian refineries by giving them access to less-expensive, stable domestic supplies.
Once this primary purpose is served, Energy East will supply export markets. TransCanada has always been open about this and it is not something we are shying away from. Exports are a good thing for our country. They provide economic growth. They create jobs. They generate tax revenue that helps our provinces build new universities, resurface hundreds of kilometres of highways or provide our seniors with home care.
Complete article: North Bay Nugget – Published April 11, 2014
TransCanada announced on November 5, 2015 that it would amend the Energy East application currently before the National Energy Board to remove a port in Quebec from the scope of the project. The application will now focus on connections to three refineries in Quebec and New Brunswick, and to marine terminal in New Brunswick.
Read the news release (PDF, 357 KB)