The National Energy Board's decision to support Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline project flies in the face of mounting opposition from communities throughout B.C., 17 First Nations, the Province of B.C. and 20 municipalities representing over two million people. The NEB today recommended approval of the pipeline-twinning project, as long as 157 conditions are met, including 49 environmental conditions.
The David Suzuki Foundation opposes all fossil fuel infrastructure expansion, including this pipeline, which would bring bitumen from Alberta's oilsands to B.C. for export. Expanding fossil fuel development and infrastructure is inconsistent with efforts to prevent a 2 C increase in global average temperature, as committed to in the Paris Agreement.
"Moving ahead with fossil fuel infrastructure won't help us avoid dangerous climate change and is not economically viable as we build a clean energy economy," said David Suzuki Foundation science and policy director Ian Bruce.
In addition to climate concerns, the NEB conditions don't sufficiently deal with risks to coastal ecosystems. "This report doesn't address concerns raised by British Columbians and their governments about the adequacy of oil spill response and the potential environmental and economic harm to communities and precious coastal ecosystems and wildlife," said David Suzuki Foundation Western Canada director-general Jay Ritchlin.
The NEB decision and a Climate Change Canada assessment of the project's upstream greenhouse gas emissions, due May 20, are the first of several processes — including public hearings and government-to-government consultations with First Nations — before the federal government decides in December whether or not the project should go ahead.
"We hope feedback from Canadians before a new environmental committee will convince the federal government to reject this proposal," Ritchlin said. "We don't believe British Columbians will let the Government of Canada force a pipeline and tanker traffic where they aren't wanted."
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Jay Ritchlin, Director-General, Western Canada, David Suzuki Foundation
Ian Bruce, Director of Science and Policy, David Suzuki Foundation