Challenging TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline

Program area – Climate change Status: Victory
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TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline would have seen millions of litres of toxic diluted bitumen pumped under major waterways from the Prairies to the Atlantic coast. It would have passed directly through hundreds of communities, like Kenora, ON, putting their drinking water, land, and local ecosystems at risk from spills.

Ecojustice represented grassroots community group, Transition Initiative Kenora on this file. What began as an effort to show the risks this pipeline would bring to just one small community became a chance to counter bias at the National Energy Board (NEB) and ultimately play a role in toppling Canada’s largest ever pipeline proposal.

Timeline of our efforts:

    • In August 2016, the National Observer reported that two members of the Energy East review panel met privately and discussed Energy East with interested stakeholders, including Jean Charest who was then a consultant for TransCanada.
    • We successfully filed a motion for our client, Transition Initiative Kenora, shortly after urging the compromised National Energy Board (NEB) panel members to recuse themselves from the Energy East review.
    • The panel members stepped down but in their wake they left the process in disarray — their recusals meant the review was tainted by a reasonable apprehension of bias.
    • To ensure that the review process would be fair and impartial, we successfully filed another motion once new panel members were appointed demanding that the NEB declare the dozens of decisions made by the former Energy East panel void.
    • With the reset button hit on Energy East’s review process, the new panel invited submissions on whether to consider Energy East’s potential to cause huge increases in upstream and downstream GHG emissions in its upcoming hearing on the project. We argued yes, and the new panel agreed!
    • In early October 2017, TransCanada announced it will be cancelling the Energy East pipeline project.

A leak of diluted bitumen or other crude oil products from TransCanada’s decades-old pipeline would have been disastrous to any community that was along the project’s path, including Kenora. A spill could have polluted their drinking water, degraded their environment, and impacted their livelihoods.

We also support efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across Canada and believe that it is important to be involved in cases related to projects that will accelerate demand for tar sands development.

 

What does this victory mean?

What the fall of the Energy East pipeline tells us is that these fossil fuel mega-projects are less economically viable and will only become a tougher sell as the world keeps moving toward low-carbon energy.

Ecojustice Alumni

Charles Hatt

Clients & Partners

Transition Initiative Kenora

Key developments

Blog

Last of its kind: The demise of the Energy East pipeline

TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline hit the wall last week. That’s good for our country and the climate. The Energy East pipeline proj...

October 11, 2017

Press release

STATEMENT: TransCanada scraps Energy East pipeline project, Ecojustice and Transition Initiative Kenora react

TORONTO — Ecojustice lawyer, Charles Hatt and Transition Initiative Kenora executive director, Teika Newton made the following statement i...

October 5, 2017

Press release

Statement: NEB to consider emissions and climate change in Energy East review, Ecojustice and Transition Initiative Kenora react

TORONTO — Ecojustice lawyer, Charles Hatt and Transition Initiative Kenora executive director, Teika Newton made the following statement i...

August 23, 2017

Blog

Energy East pipeline review may look at broader climate impacts

Including upstream and downstream GHG emissions would be a good start, but can’t stop there The National Energy Board’s review of Tra...

June 13, 2017

Blog

In pipelines we trust?

In relationships, trust is king. Nowhere has this been more apparent in Canadian politics recently than with pipelines. The overtly pro-foss...

February 13, 2017

Press release

Statement: NEB hits reset button on Energy East hearing, Ecojustice and Transition Initiative Kenora react

TORONTO — Ecojustice lawyer, Charles Hatt and Transition Initiative Kenora executive director, Teika Newton made the following statement i...

January 27, 2017

Blog

We did it! NEB hits reset button on Energy East pipeline hearing

Good news always feels better on a Friday. Here’s some hot off the press: The National Energy Board has hit reset on the Energy East pipel...

January 27, 2017

Press release

NEB must start Energy East pipeline review from scratch

TORONTO – The National Energy Board (NEB) cannot simply press pause on its review of TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline the process need...

September 22, 2016

Press release

NEB members recuse themselves from Energy East review, Ecojustice and Transition Initiative Kenora react

TORONTO — Ecojustice lawyer, Charles Hatt, and Transition Initiative Kenora executive director, Teika Newton made the following statement ...

September 9, 2016

Press release

Group asks compromised Board members to step down from NEB panel reviewing Energy East

National Energy Board (NEB) panel members must recuse themselves to ensure Energy East pipeline review is impartial, group says. “The N...

August 22, 2016

Blog

We’re gearing up to fight the Energy East pipeline

We are representing community group, Transition Initiative Kenora, in their fight to stop the Energy East pipeline. But first we need your h...

August 22, 2016

Blog

Liberals’ interim pipeline measures fall short

Band-aid solutions cannot fix deeply flawed pipeline reviews, environmental assessments The Harper government’s 2012 environmental law...

February 2, 2016

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