Oilsands expansion, emissions and the Energy East pipeline

Publication - Dec. 3, 2014 - By Erin Flanagan

In February, the Pembina Institute released the first public estimate of the Energy East pipeline’s upstream climate impact. It showed that producing the crude needed to fill the west-to-east pipeline would generate up to 32 million tonnes of additional greenhouse gas emissions each year — equivalent to doubling the number of cars on Ontario’s roads.

Ontario and Quebec have articulated seven conditions for the proposed Energy East project. One of those conditions is tied to emissions: Ontario and Quebec will take into account the proposed pipeline’s impact on emissions when assessing whether it should proceed.

This backgrounder provides information on the climate impacts of the oilsands and the link between pipelines, market access and oilsands expansion, as well as the regulatory context in Alberta. These factors all play into the assessment of Ontario and Quebec’s fourth condition.

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