VANCOUVER Feb 6 Environmental groups are
stepping up efforts to convince Canadian authorities to reject a
major new pipeline to the east coast, with one think tank saying
on Thursday that filling the new line would generate up to 45
percent more carbon emissions than the controversial Keystone
The estimate by the Pembina Institute, which has opposed oil
sands development, is the latest salvo in the battle by some
groups to block plans to build new pipelines from Canada's oil
patch. Greenpeace, the Council of Canadians and other groups
have previously spoken out against Energy East.
While most efforts have thus far focused on TransCanada
Corp's Keystone XL line, Pembina's report may spur more
debate over the impact of the company's other big project,
Energy East, which would be Canada's biggest at 1.1 million
barrels per day (bpd), larger than Keystone.
Producing the crude oil that would flow through Energy East
would generate 30 million to 32 millions tonnes of additional
carbon emissions each year, on par with adding some 7 million
cars to Canada's roads, Pembina said in the report.
That would be up to 45 percent more than the 22 million
tonnes of increased greenhouse-gas emissions for filling
Keystone XL, the group said, citing an earlier study.
TransCanada spokesman Davis Sheremata said in an email that
the company is reviewing the Pembina report, but does not
believe the Energy East pipeline will "substantially affect the
development of Canada's oil sands or global greenhouse gas
He said that if the proposed 4,500 km (2,800 mile) pipeline
is not built, oil will still be produced and transported by
truck, rail and tanker.
Energy East was announced last year and would pump crude
from Alberta and Saskatchewan to refineries in Eastern Canada
and a deepwater export port at Saint John, New Brunswick.
TransCanada expects to file for regulatory approval of the
project later this year. Pembina is asking that the impact of
additional oil sands development be included in any review of
"The oil sands are already Canada's fastest-growing source
of carbon pollution and the Energy East pipeline would help to
accelerate production," Clare Demerse, Pembina's federal policy
director, said in a statement. "Any regulatory review should
include not only the impact of the pipeline itself, but also the
impact of producing the crude that would flow through it."
The Pembina study looked at the potential upstream impact of
oil flowing through Energy East. Pipelines themselves do not
produce significant carbon emissions.
The U.S. State Department concluded last week that the
Keystone XL pipeline would not hasten oil sands development or
unduly worsen climate change, as foes of the project have
contended. The project has awaited final approval from U.S.
President Barack Obama for more than five years.
While Keystone XL would transport oil to existing markets in
the United States, Energy East would carry crude to tidewater,
opening up access to valuable new international markets for
"By providing predictable access to desirable markets for
oil sands products, a large-capacity pipeline like Energy East
would make the economics of oil sands production more compelling
- and thus help to unlock the GHG emissions that increased
production would create," the Pembina report said.