Today the Manitoba Energy justice Coalition released a report detailing the legal and political options the Government of Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg have to protect citizens from the risks of the Energy East pipeline proposal.
This report explores additional regulatory and public intervention options, external to the National Energy Board review, that are available at the subnational level for assessing the Energy East pipeline project. The report is especially concerned with climate and environmental impact, and the threat to the Winnipeg aqueduct. Based on the research in this report, MEJC recommends:
- Move the pipeline away from the Winnipeg aqueduct, other drinking water sources, and natural gas lines
- Request the PUB to open an investigation into the safety of the Winnipeg aqueduct
- Request the Clean Environment Commission under its own authority to initiate an investigation into the implications of Energy East
- Carry out public education through the media of hearings (during the CEC and PUB assessments), open houses, pamphlets and flyers at political offices, and press statements.
The report concludes that the broken NEB process must not be allowed to lead to a broken planet. Each new pipeline adds to the unsustainable burden on the climate, as fossil fuel reserves are developed far past the point of limiting warming to the 1.5 degree IPCC target. If the federal system can’t protect our precious water and our children’s future, it remains for subnational governments to fulfill their obligations to citizens and the environment. Governments may need to consider innovative ideas, and atypical actions, if we are to reach a place of climate health and safety.
However we choose to measure, price, and talk about carbon, the reality is that each contributor to fossil fuel emissions must curtail emissions under the constraint of the global carbon budget. 80% of the tar sands reserves must stay in the ground and the Energy East pipeline must not be built.