I was encouraged to see news about this report on the proposed Energy East Pipeline released by the Ontario Energy Board. Essentially the OEB is raising serious cautions about the risks to Ontario’s environment with relatively little benefit to the province. The economic benefits to the province are minimal in comparison to the potential costs of an oil spill. It’s very refreshing to have a mainstream organization (OEB) confirm what many of us who are considered environmentalists have been raising the red flags about over the past year.
The OEB is specifically raising concerns about the risk of an oil spill to many major waterways in Ontario, including Lake of the Woods. They don’t mention the Winnipeg River which is where we are lucky enough to have a cottage. However we know that the TransCanada natural gas pipeline which will be converted to transport oil, actually runs across the Winnipeg River in a few locations. Here is a picture of one of the crossing spots which is just a couple of kilometers upstream of our cottage.
I hope that the other provinces, including Manitoba, pay attention to this report and give serious consideration to the ramifications of possible oil spills. Residents of Winnipeg and many other smaller communities in Manitoba ought to pay attention to how close the pipeline runs to our drinking water sources. This report by Dennis LeNeveu for the Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition spells out specifics of what we need to consider.
As far as I’m concerned the Energy East Pipeline is far too close for comfort. It’s not worth the risks to our life sustaining water supplies.