Environmentalists Hail End Of Cross-Canada Pipeline Plan

Oct 6, 2017

Environmental groups in Canada and the U.S. are celebrating a decision this week by TransCanada to abandon plans for its Energy East pipeline. 

The  pipeline would have carried more than a million barrels of tar sands crude oil per day from western Canada to refineries in St. John, New Brunswick and other parts of eastern Canada. 

Dylan Voorhees, the energy director for the Natural Resources Council of Maine, says the decision is good news for two reasons.

"It's good news in terms of our climate and our efforts to slow down the burning of the dirtiest fossil fuels that are changing our climate," Voorhees says, "and it's really good news for Maine's environment in a more direct sense."

Voorhees says that's because the pipeline would have crossed many streams and rivers close to northern Maine's St. John River Valley, putting those waters at risk if there was an oil spill.

He says it's clear that the controversial pipeline was canceled because the economics of extracting and transporting tar sands oil are no longer favorable.

"Tar sands is really a gooey substance that's dug out of the ground and diluted with toxic chemicals to even move through a pipeline, so it's very costly to produce," he says. "So the economics of digging it up and bringing it to refineries is weakening."

Declining oil prices and increased regulatory hurdles are also being highlighted as reasons for the company's decision.