rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Energy East equals higher heating costs and more fracked gas

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

There are compelling reasons to stop TransCanada's proposed Energy East export pipeline. Expansion in the tar sands and Indigenous rights violations, significant climate change emissions and diluted bitumen pipeline spills are definitely at the top of my list.

An article in this week's Toronto Star gives even more reason for people living in Ontario and Quebec -- even higher heating bills and more U.S. imports of fracked gas.

How is this all connected?

The Energy East project seeks to convert an existing pipeline (part of TransCanada's mainline system of pipelines) from Saskatchewan to Cornwall area in Ontario, This pipe supplies the region with natural gas.

As reported by the Toronto Star, Union Gas has sent TransCanada a letter stating clearly that they are opposed to the Energy East project because it threatens to leave Ontarians short on natural gas supply:

"'Union….cannot agree to any proposal that removes a critical section of natural gas pipeline that is fully utilized to serve winter demand in eastern Canada and the U.S. Northeast for conversion to oil service,' Union says. 'An important piece of TransCanada's pipeline is in the North Bay area, and is referred to as the North Bay Shortcut. Converting that section to serve oil markets will leave the remaining gas pipeline capacity 'below the level required to meet existing contracted firm requirements'"

TransCanada denies the conversion will leave the region short on supply, pointing to their proposal for the Eastern Mainline, a new natural gas pipeline they want to build from Markham to Iroquois.

The catch? Even if this were to alleviate supply concerns -- and this is far from certain -- it still means people in Ontario and Quebec will be paying more to heat their homes.

As reported in the Toronto Star article, Union Gas estimates the price tag of this new pipe at $2 billion. 

Who's on the hook for these costs? Tax payers. This certainly is a hard pill to swallow coming out of an exceptionally cold winter, which caused natural gas prices to skyrocket and supply limits to industrial users.

TransCanada claims Union's estimate is too high and highlights they will "contribute" to the cost. As an Ontarian reliant on natural gas to heat my home, I certainly don't feel assured.

Making matters worse, Energy East would see Ontario and Quebec increasingly depend on fracked shale gas imports. "TransCanada wants to ship oil through its natural gas pipeline because shale gas produced in the U.S. northeast is displacing the gas that TransCanada's mainline pipes in from western Canada."

Not only is fracking having serious environmental, social and health impacts on our Southern neighbours, expert evidence commissioned by the Council of Canadians says relying on fracked gas also puts our natural gas supply at risk and paves the way for further cost increases. 

In other words, TransCanada wants people in Ontario and Quebec to subsidize a tar sands export pipeline that comes with a host of risks, at source and along the pipeline path, and shoulder higher heating costs.

It's time to take a stand and say no to Energy East.

Take action: www.noenergyeast.ca

More articles on the impacts of Energy East on natural gas supply:

Gas industry sees risk in vision for energy east oilline (August 2013) 

Enbridge warns Ottawa councillors that energy east pipeline could lead to winter gas shortages (September 2013) 

Another energy price increase could be looming for residents of eastern Ontario (May 2014) 

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.