Put Carbon Tariff on Tar Sands Pipelines in BC: Tar Sands could wipe out BC’s climate change progress
Vancouver, BC – Today at the BC Power Summit, Environmental Defence is calling on the BC government to place a carbon tariff on tar sands oil traveling through BC pipelines. The call comes in the wake of the federal government’s announcement this week that it will sanction a large increase in emissions from the tar sands.

“The federal leadership vacuum on global warming means it is up to provinces to act to reduce Canada’s emissions,” said Matt Price, Project Manager with Environmental Defence. “BC is taking meaningful action on global warming, but the progress will be wiped out by encouraging the growth of dirty tar sands oil through BC pipelines.”

A new BC tariff on tar sands oil would help account for the pollution costs associated with tar sands oil, which emits three to five times more greenhouse gas than conventional oil. Revenues from the tariff could be reinvested in an expansion of greenhouse gas reduction initiatives in BC.

This week, the federal government released details of its climate plan, sanctioning a growth of tar sands emissions from estimates of 29 million tonnes per year to 50 million in 2020. BC’s plan has a goal for the province to go from 65 million tonnes to about 44 million tonnes per year. The federal plan waits 10 years before requiring new tar sands and coal burning projects to capture and store their carbon. BC has said carbon capture and storage is effective immediately on new coal projects in the province.
 
BC already ships some tar sands oil through the Kinder Morgan pipeline that travels into Burnaby. The company is seeking to expand this pipeline. Enbridge is proposing a new pipeline to travel through northern BC to take tar sands oil to Kitimat for shipment in giant “supertankers” to Asia and elsewhere. Environmental Defence is also calling for a formal suspension of BC government cooperation with the Enbridge pipeline proposal.
 
About Environmental Defence (www.environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence protects the environment and human health. We research solutions. We educate. We go to court when we have to. All in order to ensure clean air, clean water and thriving ecosystems nationwide, and to bring a halt to Canada’s contribution to climate change.
 
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For more information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence, (416)323-9521 ext. 232; (647) 280-9521 (cell)