Energy East: The Cancellation that Seemed Like an Impossible Feat

By: Lily Barraclough

In early October, one of the controversial proposed pipelines in Canada transporting oil from the prairie provinces, primarily Alberta, to refineries in New Brunswick and Quebec was cancelled. The pipeline would have added 1500+ km of pipeline to an already lengthy pipeline of 3000+ km. This pipeline would have transported oil through areas at high risk if there was a spill, particularly the Bay of Fundy since if there was a spill it would be a huge risk to some of the primary components of the economy on the east coast: the fisheries. Of course, those are not the only considerations and issues that resulted in the cancellation of the pipeline. The energy east pipeline would have increased the health risk for many indigenous communities, as well as the increased risk to the wildlife they depend on for food.

Sometimes, it can feel like the endless rallies, the lobbying, the fighting is having no impact, is just energy being released into the bottomless void of inaction. It can feel like expelling all this useless energy that is exhausting and not making any steps forward. And as someone not directly on the frontlines, I sometimes feel like I don’t even have the right to be exhausted. There are so many people on the frontlines fighting these pipelines, fighting them from passing through their homes, from threatening their lives, their health, their livelihoods, and their communities. And there are people who have been set up for months on end fighting these pipelines, creating resistance camps, it becoming their lives. And those are some of the most inspiring and resilient people. It is incredible to see it work, to see the cancelling of Energy East, and see that it IS possible. That the power really is in the people.

There are so many more projects that are also being fought by inspiring, incredible people in Canada, and it can seem like this is just one victory when so many more are needed, but this is an incredible feat, and we should be allowed to feel good about it. Canada may not be holding up reducing carbon emissions, but we citizens continue to fight and prevent the expansion of the tar sands, or that is the goal anyways.

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