Conversion puts North Bay’s drinking water at risk of a spill while providing negligible economic benefits

The following is in response to the letter Pipeline conversion a safe process which appeared in Monday’s Nugget.

To the editor:

As residents of North Bay continue to voice their concerns about the risks Energy East poses to their land, water and air, TransCanada continues to respond with falsehoods and half-truths.

TransCanada asserts that Energy East won’t cause adverse environmental effects in Ontario. However, analysis commissioned by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) shows that not to be the case. It found that the Energy East application presented no evidence the route of the converted natural gas pipeline through Ontario is appropriate for an oil pipeline. TransCanada was unable to satisfy the pipeline safety principles set out by the Ontario government because of an absence of details regarding valve placement, leak detection and emergency response plans.

Contrary to Mr. Duboyce’s claims, Energy East is an export pipeline. Quebec refineries already have access to an adequate supply of Canadian oil via Enbridge Line 9. The president of the Irving refinery, at the end of Energy East in Saint John, N.B., admitted they would continue to import Saudi oil even if the pipeline is built. Refiners care about cost and quality, not national origin, when it comes to sources of oil in a global market.
The OEB concluded that the risks of Energy East outweigh the benefits. Energy East is an export pipeline that puts North Bay’s drinking water at risk of a spill while providing negligible economic benefits. North Bay and Ontario should heed the advice of independent regulators – not TransCanada’s self-interested claims – and reject Energy East.

Patrick DeRochie
Climate & Energy Program Manager
Environmental Defence

Tuesday, December 20, 2016 11:33:06 EST AM

As posted at


Yet Another TransCanada Letter to the editor of the North Bay Nugget

The following is in response to the letter Energy East raises energy, environmental concerns, which appeared in the Dec. 14 Nugget.

To the editor:

One of the issues raised is why TransCanada would wish to convert a gas pipeline on the Canadian Mainline to oil service. The reason is to optimize the use of this important energy transportation infrastructure in the context of changing supply markets.

The natural gas transmission line we plan to convert is under-contracted. At the same time, three refineries located in Quebec and New Brunswick lack adequate pipeline access to supply Canadian oil, and therefore must rely on the importation of hundreds of thousands of barrels of foreign crude on a daily basis.

TransCanada is committed to continuing to deliver natural gas to Ontario. An agreement signed with local distributors ensures Energy East will not negatively affect the cost or availability of natural gas.

We have safely and successfully converted natural gas pipelines in the past. The most recent example is when we converted a section of the Canadian Mainline for the Keystone Pipeline, which has safely delivered more than 1.3 billion barrels of oil to the U.S. since it began operating in July 2010.

Before putting the converted line into service a thorough in-line inspection program employing advanced detection technology will provide engineering teams with a comprehensive millimetre-by-millimetre assessment of the pipe from the inner wall through the steel itself to the outer wall and the protective exterior coating.

We are sensitive to concerns raised over issues such as the protection of your drinking water. We spend $1 billion each year on pipeline safety and integrity. We use overlapping safety measures including advanced detection technology, strict operating protocols, and the strategic placement of shut-off valves all along our pipeline systems. If a potential problem is detected, the line can be shut down within a few minutes.

We also know how important it is to be prepared for any situation. This is why we’re developing detailed emergency response plans which include site specific tactics to address environmentally sensitive areas. In other words, even in the extremely unlikely event of a pipeline leak, we will have plans and resources ready to deploy quickly. We work with first responders so we’ll all be prepared. We hold over 100 emergency exercises each year to ensure we’re prepared all the way along our pipeline routes.

Building Energy East will end the reliance refineries in Quebec and New Brunswick continue to have on foreign crude oil. That means Canadian energy self-sufficiency, and billions of dollars that would remain in our economy, helping to support jobs here at home.

Whether for transportation or as a key ingredient in thousands of items we depend on – phones, clothing, medical supplies, make-up and even chewing gum – we all use oil in one way or another every single day. We all expect oil to get to market safely. Pipelines are the safest way to deliver oil, and they also produce fewer greenhouse gases than other means including ships and trains, since they run using electric-powered pumps.

I invite anyone with questions about the Energy East Pipeline project to visit our online question and answer portal at, or email us at EnergyEast.

Tim Duboyce


As posted online at

Quebec microbreweries say Energy East pipeline threatens beer and jobs

With thousands of jobs at stake, nearly two dozen Quebec microbreweries are betting that the province’s love for beer will crush the prospects of a major proposed oil pipeline.

Calgary-based TransCanada Corp. wants to build the Energy East pipeline, the largest project of its kind ever proposed in Canada, along the St. Lawrence River, which supplies millions in Quebec with fresh water. But in a new campaign launched on Wednesday, 21 Quebec microbreweries are urging the province to choose beer over oil.

Energy East has faced fierce opposition in Quebec and according to a March 2016 national poll by Forum Research, only 38 per cent of Quebecers supported the pipeline project, the lowest level of support in the country.

The campaign was coordinated by “Coule pas chez nous!” a Quebec-based coalition of groups opposed to the Energy East project.

The brewing industry in Quebec employs 3,800 people, Coule pas chez nous notes, compared to the 33 full-time, permanent jobs TransCanada expects the Energy East project could create in the province.

‘No water, no beer, no fun,’ says brewer

Montreal microbrewery Oshlag worked with the Quebec activists in the coalition to produce an IPA made from Quebec water and local ingredients. Their goal is to raise awareness about the pipeline’s proposed route, crossing 860 Quebec rivers and streams.

That worries Alexandre Caron, a brewer with Ras L’Bock in Saint-Jean-Port-Joli on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River, whose microbrewery helped to launch the project. The brewery is concerned about the project’s potential impact on Quebec’s tourism industry, wilderness and supply of clean water, Caron said in a press release announcing the project on Wednesday. “That’s our primary ingredient. No water, no beer; no beer, no fun,” Caron said.

Read full story at iew image on Twi

By Riley Sparks in News, Energy, Politics | March 1st 2017

Canada’s dearth to deluge

Petroleum-Economist | March 1 | Not long ago the oil sands looked hemmed in by a lack of pipeline capacity. Now they may have too much

It is a prospect that seemed unthinkable for oil sands producers just a few months ago: Canada, which faced a dire shortage of space on its ageing transportation network, might now be over-piped. Two major pipeline expansions have been approved, a third is moving through the regulatory process; throw in a revived Keystone XL (KXL), and suddenly producers may get 2m b/d of new capacity flowing east, west and south.

It started in late November when prime minister Justin Trudeau gave the green light for KinderMorgan’s controversial C$6.8bn ($5.2bn) TransMountain expansion (TMX) line, while turfing Enbridge’s Northern Gateway proposal at the same time.

TMX will triple to 0.9m b/d the capacity on an existing line linking Alberta’s oil sands to Vancouver on the west, providing a much-needed outlet to Asia. Despite protests and fierce opposition, the British Columbia government surrendered necessary environmental certificates shortly after the approval, all but ensuring it will be built. Though it still faces court challenges, construction is likely to start this autumn with the first oil flowing through the pipeline by 2018.

Less controversial was Trudeau’s approval of Enbridge’s C$7bn Line 3 expansion south into the US. This will replace a link into the company’s US Lakehead system that ruptured in 2010, fouling the Kalamazoo River in Michigan. As part of a settlement with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the company has reduced the pipeline’s operating pressure—which effectively cut capacity in half to around 380,000 b/d. Facing a choice from the EPA either to replace the pipeline or pull it out of the ground, it has chosen to replace and expand Line 3. The new investment will restore capacity to its original 0.76m b/d and allow for further expansion to 0.915m b/d.

As posted at