Ontario and Quebec will “mostly ignore climate change concerns when deciding whether to support Energy East, clearing one the of largest single obstacles out of the way of TransCanada Corp.’s $12-billion pipeline proposal,” the Globe and Mail reported last week.
After meetings with Alberta Premier Jim Prentice, Ontario’s Kathleen Wynne and Quebec’s Philippe Couillard agreed their assessment of the pipeline’s climate impact would not include the upstream greenhouse gas emissions that will result from expanded tar sands/oil sands production. “No, we’re not talking about upstream emissions,” Wynne said. “It doesn’t add anything to the debate,” Couillard agreed.
Instead, the two eastern provinces “will look only at the relatively small emissions from work that has to be done on Energy East in Ontario or Quebec, such as exhaust fumes from construction vehicles,” Morrow writes.
Just a week earlier, the two provinces had announced seven conditions for Energy East, including a climate test. 350.org immediately published Couillard’s and Wynne’s phone numbers and urged supporters to “stop the Energy East climate flip flop.”
“Choosing to only review the climate impacts of the pipe itself and not what’s inside it is like calculating the alcoholic content of a can of beer—but just the can, not the beer inside,” 350 and other Ontario green groups argued.