TORONTO, ON – Today, B.C. rightly chose to put the best interests of its citizens ahead of the interests of the oil industry when it declared its opposition to the dangerous TransMountain pipeline expansion.
By this step, the B.C. government has recognized what more and more Canadians already know: Massive new tar sands export pipelines and tanker projects like Kinder Morgan and Energy East are just not worth the risks to our communities and our environment.
The Kinder Morgan proposal does not have support from impacted First Nations, municipal governments, the people of British Columbia and now the B.C. government. Without an intervention, the NEB will likely approve the project within months, but the final decision rests with cabinet. Without public support or the support of the B.C. government, the federal government has no choice but to reject this project.
It should be no surprise to anyone why opposition to export pipelines continues to grow. Tar sands pipeline proposals carry significant risks for Canadians, and the current regulatory process doesn’t take those risks seriously. The federal regulatory process for pipeline projects is completely broken.
The National Energy Board is increasingly seen by Canadians as a rubber stamp for the oil industry. The NEB for too long has only asked how to get projects built. Instead, a reformed pipeline review process must first ask if these projects are in the best interest of Canadians.
Any meaningful review has to investigate if energy projects will undermine Canada’s policy goals like promises made in Paris to cut carbon pollution. It also means listening to the best available science, such as the recent NAS study on the safety risks of diluted bitumen, which was excluded from the NEB’s review of the Kinder Morgan project. And it means ensuring that the crown fulfills its duty to consult First Nations affected by the project.
The new federal government has committed to fixing the regulatory process, but is now backtracking on its election promise and refusing to put the Kinder Morgan proposal through the new review process.
About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (www.environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact
Tim Ehlich, Environmental Defence, 647-468-3641 (cell);firstname.lastname@example.org