The project has faced resistance from politicians and local communities mostly from great Montreal region citing fears of environmental pollution (McCarthy, 2014). Construction of the Energy East Pipeline would enlarge the market and provide an efficient and fast method of transporting oil, allowing production of the higher amount of oil. It would lead to the increase in greenhouse gasses usually produced during oil extraction. In the wake of fighting the growth in greenhouse gasses release, the project would facilitate bigger emissions, which would constitute an environmental threat. The Energy East Pipeline proposal is opposed by the local communities because they fear it may have oil spillage and surprisingly, some communities in the existing pipeline are part of the protestors (Krugel, 2014). Oil spillage is relatively dangerous and can lead to healthy problems and disappearance of wildlife from the places where it happens. Aquatic life is the one that is affected more severely since it does not provide room for migration, which leads to deaths among animals. If oil spillage happens along a river, it would have a lot of impacts because it would run downstream and affect those who use the water downstream. Communities fear oil spillage would also endanger their lives as well as their agricultural land. For example, farmers at Ste-Anne-des-Plaines were unhappy with the proposal that cuts across their land. Some areas where the pipeline would be installed are viewed as unfit, and risk of bursting or leaking is seen as high (The Canadian Press, 2016).
Emergency response in case of spillage or breakage is a crucial point that the residents would wish to get assurance is in place. Regarding emergency responses, some residents have been pushing the National Energy Board to reject the proposal since it has not covered this aspect. Residents, environment experts, and politicians argue that the failure of the company to prove that it has a good plan on how to respond to emergencies is a sign of how risky the project can be to the communities it passes through (Feith, 2016). When a company intends to become a world leader in safe oil transport, emergency response is essential and should not be dismissed on account that a lot of money has been budgeted to ensure safety and installation of the latest technology to monitor the pipeline. The question of what they would do if a breakage or a leak is discovered it is critical in assuring safety. It should be noted that a continued spillage within ten minutes can cause great harm to the environment. It can be argued that the proposal is not complete and there are multiple risks associated with it.
On the other hand, there is a risk that the current ongoing debate of accepting the project endangers the nationhood enjoyed in Canada. The proposal should be discarded as a move to avoid its effect for a length struggle to satisfy members of the public. Its discard would eliminate possible discord that is currently taking place between politicians from different regions.
The Energy East Pipeline proposal that was presented to the National Energy Board for approval by TransCanada has both opposing and supporting stakeholders. Most of the opposition comes from great Montreal region and Quebec, while the support comes from leaders in Alberta, Ontario, and Saskatchewan. Most locals in the areas have their views towards the project in line with those of the leaders. Most of the supporters of the project cite economic benefits arising from the investment as the primary motivation behind their stand. The project would create around 14000 jobs and increase the income per capita for the whole Canadian economy. The national and provincial administrations would have increased revenues in the form of taxes as a result of the investment. The country would have increased the base of business cropping up as result of the investment. Apart from the benefits from the improved transport infrastructure from the pipeline, the other means of transportation would become more reliable because of reduced congestion. On the other hand, the project would have shortcomings that have been used as reasons for the opposition, most of which are environment related. Construction of the pipeline would lead to the increased amount of oil produced, a factor that would increase the release of greenhouse gasses. The pipeline also has a risk of causing oil spillage, which is dangerous for human, plant and animals lives. Lack of the emergency response plan by the company has also been a challenge causing stakeholders to oppose the project. Failure to accept the pipeline construction does not mean crude oil will not be transported it simply gives room for use of less safer methods such as rail and road. The increase in carbon dioxide because of higher production may not suppress the one producing using traditional transportation methods. Therefore, the Energy East Pipeline has many benefits that would lead to a growth of Canadian economy, but it needs some improvements to reduce the reasons for opposition and assure the residents’ safety.
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Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. (2016). Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. Retrieved from <http://www.capp.ca/media/commentary/opinion-why-quebecers-should-support-the-energy-east-pipeline>
Energy East Pipeline Project. (2016). TransCanada Corporation. Retrieved 19 October 2016, from <http://www.transcanada.com/energy-east-pipeline.html>
Feith, J. (2016). Amid Controversy, Hearings on Energy East pipeline start in Montreal. Montreal Gazette. Retrieved from <http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/neb-hearings-on-energy-east-to-start-in-montreal-on-monday>
Krugel, L. (2014). As Energy East Pipeline Application Nears, Communities Weigh Risks and Benefits.CTV News. Retrieved from <http://www.ctvnews.ca/business/as-energy-east-pipeline-application-nears-communities-weigh-risks-and-benefits-1.1995620>
McCarthy, S. (2014). Pipeline Protesters Turn Focus to Energy East. The Globe And Mai. Retrieved from <http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/pipeline-protesters-turn-focus-to-energy-east/article16721143/>
McCourt, D. (2016). The Real Advantages to the Energy East Pipeline. Media Planet. Retrieved from <http://www.industryandbusiness.ca/insight/the-real-advantages-to-the-energy-east-pipeline>
The Canadian Press, (2016). Quebec Mayors Come Out Against Proposed Pipeline. The Huffington Post. Retrieved 19 October 2016, from <http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/01/21/greater-montreal-mayors-come-out-against-transcanada-s-energy-east-pipeline_n_9040654.html>
TransCanada Press release,. (2016). Supporting and Strengthening our Provinces | Energy East Pipeline. Energyeastpipeline.com. Retrieved 19 October 2016, from <http://www.energyeastpipeline.com/benefits/jobs-gdp-economy-growth-from-the-energy-east-pipeline-by-province/>
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