The Ottawa Citizen released a map today showing the proposed route that 850,000 barrels a day of tar sands oil would take through the City of Ottawa if TransCanada Corp gets its way. You can see the map of the proposed pipeline route here.
The plan is to retrofit a natural gas pipeline into a pipeline that will carry crude oil from Alberta’s tar sands to the East Coast of Canada and they want to run the pipeline through the south end of Ottawa and across the Rideau River.
Over the past two days, more than 1,000 people across Ottawa have signed Ecology Ottawa’s petition opposing the proposed pipeline. If you have not already done so, please sign the petition. If you have already signed it, please help spread the word. You can find it here.
We will be inviting those who sign the petition to join us at a town hall meeting on the project in the coming weeks.
If you are interested in learning more about the safety risks associated with tar sands pipelines in general, see Tar Sands Pipelines Safety Risks here.
These are not theoretical risks. A tar sands oil spill into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River in 2010, caused hundreds of people to permanently lose their homes and severely impacted many people’s health.
Tar sands oil has the consistency of peanut butter and needs to be diluted with condensate before being sent through a pipeline. When tar sands oil spills into water, the condensate evaporates, creating a toxic, carcinogenic cloud while most of the heavy bitumen sinks and coats the bottom of the lake or river with thick goo, making it much more difficult to clean up than a normal spill.
It’s also more expensive to clean up. The oil spill in the Kalamazoo River has cost $765 million and the clean-up is not yet complete.
For these reasons and many other reasons, we think this project is all risk and no benefit for the City of Ottawa. That’s why we are asking our elected officials to say no to the project. Please join us by signing the petition and recruiting your friends here.
You can also join our Facebook “event” and encourage your friends via Facebook to sign the petition here.