REGINA – About 150 people in Regina came out Monday evening to hear from speakers opposing TransCanada’s proposed Energy East pipeline.
According to TransCanada, the pipeline is expected to carry 1.1 million barrels of crude oil per day from western Canada to refineries and port terminals in eastern Canada.
In Saskatchewan an existing natural gas line, which cuts through Regina’s Harbour Landing subdivision, would be repurposed to carry oil.
“I’m hearing a lot of support for concerns around spills. I met with a couple of people who were from the university (U of R) and some youth that are really concerned about what this means upstream,” said Andrea Harden-Donahue with The Council of Canadians.
As an alternative, Harden-Donahue said Canada should be focusing on clean energy solutions.
“Our federal government is putting all of its eggs in one basket,” she said. “Sustainable agriculture, clean energy and public transport, these are good jobs. They’re green jobs and they can reduce climate pollution, so why not focus there?”
In her speech to the crowd, Harden-Donahue said the City of Regina should hold a referendum on the Energy East proposal, similar to a plebiscite held in Kitimat on the Northern Gateway pipeline.
A rancher from Nebraska is also taking part in the tour to share his experience fighting TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline in the United States. Ben Gotschall said he became involved with fighting the construction of new pipelines five years ago.
“Farmers and ranchers need to be aware of the risks to their land and the economic damages that can happen to their farms if a leak of spill were to occur,” said Gotschall, Energy Director with Bold Nebraska. “Water, drinking water and agricultural water, is a big issue.”
On Tuesday, an event is being held in Harbour Landing to draw attention to where the pipeline is currently located. The tour heads to Swift Current on Wednesday and Moose Jaw on Thursday.
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