Within the debate on climate change, there are questions about pipelines and how they fit into the world’s efforts to curb greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Some people ask: “Does North America need pipelines like Energy East and Keystone XL?” The answer is unequivocally “yes,” as we will continue to need affordable and reliable energy for years to come. But like you, we care about the environment and are working hard to manage emissions and reduce the carbon intensity of our operations in ways that meet, or often exceed, what is required. Studies show that pipelines are the safest and most efficient way of moving oil and gas to market.
Here are the answers to three common questions about how we are investing in a balanced energy future while also developing advanced and secure energy infrastructure.
1. Does it make sense to build pipelines considering the movement to transition to a lower-carbon future?
Yes! The reality is that the shift towards a more sustainable future requires investment in new pipelines now. Although there is a desire to gradually shift to low-carbon sources, demand for energy continues to grow worldwide, with oil and gas supplying at least half of our energy needs.
We have yet to find a way to meet all our needs with emission-less energy sources and until then, oil and gas will continue to be a key part of our energy mix. We also believe that investing in the reduction of the emissions of these fossil fuels is paramount to our future. That’s why the energy sector continues to invest billions each year in research and development to generate emission-less energy and find innovative solutions to develop high-efficiency, lower-emitting production techniques.
- READ MORE | The case for TransCanada’s Keystone XL
2. Does TransCanada invest in emission-less energy sources?
We do. One-half of the power we provide is generated from emission-less sources including nuclear, wind and solar.
For example, investing in emission-less energy sources has enabled us to play a key role in Ontario’s successful elimination of coal-fired power generation through our 48.5 per cent ownership of the Bruce Power nuclear facility. In 2015, we entered into an agreement with the Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator to extend the operating life of the facility to 2064. This agreement secures reliable, affordable and emission-less power for Ontario residents for many decades to come.
- READ MORE | Bruce Power keeps the lights on
3. Do you partner with other organizations to find lower-carbon solutions?
Yes, and we have even partnered with Rolls-Royce to conduct trials on a new generation of gas turbine, which provides more power to move oil and gas through our networks of pipelines as well as greater fuel efficiency.
For more information on how we have worked with Rolls-Royce for over 50 years, check out this blog.
We are a founding partner in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s new Natural Gas STAR Methane Challenge Program, launched March 2016. TransCanada has made a commitment to implement an industry-leading best management practice across our operations within five years to address emission sources specified by the program. Part of this work includes the introduction of mobile pulldown compressor stations. Pulldown compressors can divert up to 80 per cent of the gas out of the pipeline when required. As a result, the gas – which includes methane, a greenhouse gas – doesn’t need to be vented or flared into the atmosphere. Find out more about this work here.
Did you know: TransCanada’s achievements in environmental, social and economic performance were recognized with a gold class distinction in RobecoSAM’s globally recognized Sustainability Yearbook 2017 publication.
- READ MORE | Our commitment to the environment