CALGARY, Feb. 2, 2015 /CNW/ - More than 100,000 messages from people across Canada were hand delivered today to the National Energy Board's (NEB) office in Calgary demanding climate change be included in the NEB's review of the Energy East tar sands pipeline. With participation from 350.org, Leadnow.ca, the Council of Canadians, Greenpeace & Avaaz, it is the largest petition ever delivered to the National Energy Board.
"Peter Watson, the head of the NEB, needs to listen to the tens of thousands of Canadians demanding the huge climate impacts of the Energy East tar sands pipeline be included as part of the pipeline review," said Mike Hudema, Climate and Energy campaigner with Greenpeace Canada.1
Organizers point out these messages are a response to changes in Canada's environmental review processes that exclude climate and community participation – including changes in 2012 to the National Energy Board Act.
"Whether Mr. Watson likes it or not, the NEB's function is to review projects that also happen to have a massive impact on our climate," said Cameron Fenton, Canadian Tar Sands Organizer with 350.org. "With no other institution that reviews climate impacts in this country, and with a gaping hole in climate leadership at the federal level, the job is falling to Mr. Watson and the NEB. They can't hide from this forever."
Only people considered "directly affected" by the NEB and who choose from a pre-determined list of issues are allowed to provide input into the review. Climate change is not on the list of issues, although concerns related to marine shipping have already been added to the list of issues for Energy East.
"If the NEB considers upstream economic impacts when determining if a pipeline is in the "national interest" then they must also consider that Energy East would have the same climate impact as 7 million cars," said Aleah Loney, an organizer with the Council of Canadians. "Surely stopping climate change is in Canada's national interest."
From February 3rd to March 3rd, 2015 people across Canada can file applications to intervene in the NEB review of Energy East. Thousands are expected to apply to comment on the single largest proposed tar sands pipeline in North America.
"If the NEB wants to be a legitimate review body, they need to consider the thousands of official applications demanding that upstream climate change impacts be taken into account in the review of Energy East," said Kelly Dowdell, a campaigner with Leadnow.ca in Calgary.
1Energy East could generate up to 32 million tonnes of additional greenhouse gas emissions each year in Canada — an even greater impact than the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. http://www.pembina.org/media-release/2520
For further information: Cameron Fenton, 350.org, 604-369-2155; Mike Hudema, Greenpeace Canada, 780-504-5601; Sujata Dey, Council of Canadians, 613-796-7724