Environmentalists are expressing their concern to TransCanada, the company that owns the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, but this time over another pipeline project: The Energy East Pipeline, which would transfer crude oil across Canada from Alberta to the east coast.
The Energy East Pipeline project is a 4,600-kilometer pipeline that would transport approximately 1.1 million barrels of crude oil per day from Alberta and Saskatchewan to the refineries of Eastern Canada and a marine terminal in New Brunswick. From there, oil would be transported by super tankers to refineries along the Gulf Coast. The project involves converting 3,000 kilometers of existing natural gas pipeline to crude oil service and new construction of 1,600 kilometers of pipeline.
Environmentalist groups, including the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club, are concerned about possible spills of tar sands diluted bitumen along the route in Canada that goes over thousands of rivers, streams, and lakes. They are also concerned about a possible spill along the Atlantic Ocean that could be devastating for communities that depend on tourism and fisheries.
TransCanada said their project would strictly adhere to safety standards and that they are responsible for the pipeline but not the for transportation of oil across the seaboard; that responsibility lies in the hands of those who operate the ships for the delivery of oil. Safety remains TransCanada’s top priority, according to TransCanada spokesman Jonathan Abecassis, who also said the New Brunswick port “will have a number of preventative safety measures.”
The project is currently being reviewed by the National Energy Board in Canada. Environmentalists hope the U.S. will voice its opposition to the project during this review process and enact a ban on the shipment of tar sands in its waters.