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Energy East pipeline hearings disrupted by protestors

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World Pipelines,

Quebec’s environmental hearings into the Energy East Pipeline project got off to a difficult start yesterday evening, as protesters chanted and disrupted proceedings seconds after the company’s Vice-President began speaking.

The hearings were temporarily suspended as protesters snuck into the audience room, unfurled a banner denouncing the pipeline and sang songs to try and silence the presenter.

The Energy East project is particularly controversial in Quebec, where environmental activists and some municipal politicians have come out against the pipeline.

Quebec’s environmental review agency is tasked with conducting an assessment of the risks and benefits and produce a report to the province’s environment minister.

TransCanada insisted that it is safer, cheaper and more environmentally friendly to carry oil by pipeline than by train.“The alternative is transportation by train,” argued Louis Bergeron, vice-president Quebec and New Brunswick for Energy East. “And when you compare annual carbon dioxide emissions, a pipeline produces 7020 t, while a train produces 186 640. If you break it down by barrels of oil, trains produce 75 times the level of CO2 that pipelines produce.”

TransCanada’s presentation was delayed about 30 minutes while protesters sang and chanted “TransCanada will not pass.”

The Quebec portion of the pipeline would span 648 km and run under hundreds of lakes and rivers.

TransCanada claims to have held thousands of meetings with individual landowners, municipalities and environmental groups in Quebec.

Edited from various sources by Elizabeth Corner

Sources: Toronto StarCBCMontreal Gazette

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