TransCanada has announced plans to convert a gas pipeline to carry up to 1.1 million barrels a day (130 million litres) of Albertan tar sands oil that would pass through the south end of Ottawa and the Rideau River. As a resident of Ottawa, I am writing to express my concerns with respect to the serious environmental risks and impacts this proposed pipeline would have in the Ottawa Region.
This 4,400 km pipeline, dubbed Energy East, would carry tar sands bitumen from the Alberta tar sands to the East Coast of Canada. Energy East would put our water, food, and environment in danger from dirty and toxic oil spills and catastrophic climate change. Thousands of Canadians along the 4,400 km pipeline route will assume all of the pipeline risk while big oil companies take all the profit, including us as residents of Ottawa. An oil spill has the potential to displace hundreds of thousands in the Ottawa region from their homes.
This pipeline would threaten the sensitive ecosystem of the Rideau River, which flows into the Ottawa River, with a major oil spill. It could also devastate many of the rich farmlands and other ecosystems that surround the city. It has potential to jeopardize food and water sources for nearly 1 million people living in the Ottawa region. An oil spill could have devastating effects for the rich farmlands surrounding Ottawa, which supply the region with fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats.
The Energy East Pipeline is all risk and no benefit for the city of Ottawa and the world at large. We all have a stake and responsibility in protecting the environment and keeping the Ottawa region tar sands free. As the elected official of my Ottawa ward, I ask that you consider these points, and speak out against the proposed pipeline, on behalf of the concerned citizens of Ottawa.
For more information on the proposed Energy East pipeline, I encourage you to visit the Tar Sands Free 613 website at tarfree613.ca. Tar Sands Free 613 is campaign of concerned groups and individuals dedicated to protecting the Ottawa area from the devastating impacts of the proposed Energy East pipeline.
I encourage you to also work with your colleagues and counterparts in other levels of government to express my concerns and do what is possible to oppose this project. I would appreciate hearing back from you on this matter.