The proposed pipeline would bring another 400 tankers a year, putting salmon rivers and the B.C. coast at much greater risk of catastrophic oil spills.
The Kinder Morgan pipeline and tanker project would release even more carbon dioxide than Northern Gateway—significantly more than 100 million tonnes annually.
We need to look at the big picture. We should be shifting investment toward energy efficiency and renewable energy, not building new infrastructure to expand the exploitation of the world’s dirtiest oil – Alberta’s tar sands.
Stopping the Kinder Morgan expansion is crucial to shifting Canada’s energy sector away from dependence on fossil fuels and toward economic alternatives that protect communities and slow global warming.
In May 2016, the National Energy Board approved Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain pipeline and tankers project. The review was a severely flawed process that denied many people a chance to speak up. Prime Minister Trudeau heard our calls for an improved review, and promised B.C. a chance for meaningful public participation. Summer meetings were announced with very little notice and a hastily-organized review was conducted by a three-member federal Ministerial Panel. The panel’s report raised a series of crucial questions for the federal cabinet.
In November 2016, the federal government approved the pipeline, making B.C.—and especially the south coast—a sacrifice zone. In January, the province of B.C. gave its approval. This failure of Premier Christy Clark to stand up for B.C.’s interests was a sell-out and a betrayal. Despite what the Premier says, the 5 conditions for approval have not been met and can never be met.
Sierra Club BC will continue to push for the federal government to make the right decision—for whales, for salmon, for our economy and for our climate. We are relaunching the Pull Together campaign, which was successful in stopping the Enbridge pipeline. By helping to raise funds for First Nations’ legal challenges to Kinder Morgan, we will ensure this pipeline is never built.
Liquefied Fracked Gas
Scientific evidence shows clearly that building liquefied fracked gas plants—what the industry brands as “natural” gas—will spread a destructive web of pipelines, plants, fracking sites, compressor stations, and work camps across British Columbia.
One of the twenty proposed fracked gas plants in B.C.—the Petronas fracked gas plant proposed for Lelu Island—would threaten to wipe out Canada’s second largest salmon run, would be disastrous for our climate, and would trample over First Nations opposition. This plant alone would be responsible for an astonishing 265 million tonnes per year making it impossible for B.C. to meet its current (inadequate) emissions targets.
The declining value of LNG in global markets now undermines any business case for LNG in B.C., and many proposals are being shelved. British Columbia should be putting its resources toward renewable energy and transitioning to a post-carbon economy.
In Spring 2016, more than 11,000 Sierra Club BC supporters sent letters to the federal government Petronas’ fracked gas proposal. In September, the federal government approved the plant, betraying B.C.’s wild salmon and all Canadians who voted for real action on climate change.
This decision is not the end of the story. Petronas says it will review the project to see if it’s financially viable before deciding whether or not to proceed. And First Nations are considering legal challenges.
Sierra Club BC will continue to highlight the dangers posed by Petronas, its incompatibility with decreasing global demand for fossil fuels, and the benefits of the alternatives. We’ll also continue to push for both the federal and provincial governments to include a rigorous climate test in all future environmental assessments, so this kind of climate-killing approval can never happen in the future. In the process, we will help build the case for Petronas to walk away.
Northern Gateway would bring more than 200 tankers a year – two to three per week – through grey whale feeding grounds in the waters off the Great Bear Rainforest. A single oil spill would devastate the coastal communities and First Nations that rely on tourism and fishing for food, livelihoods and their culture. If it goes ahead, Northern Gateway would cause the release of 100 million tonnes of carbon dioxide pollution each and every year. Over 30 years, that’s three billion tonnes!
The risks are simply too great. The damage to our climate is simply too enormous.
A majority of British Columbians oppose Northern Gateway, along with many coastal businesses and tourism associations, the Union of B.C. municipalities, and multiple unions. More than 100 First Nations have signed the Save the Fraser Declaration, prohibiting tar sands projects from crossing their territories and Coastal First Nations have declared a ban on oil tankers in the Great Bear Rainforest.
When the federal government announced their decision to approve the project, with 209 conditions, we were ready. We launched the hugely successful Pull Together in partnership with RAVEN Trust to support First Nations legal challenges against Enbridge. In June 2016 we saw results! The Federal Court of Appeal overturned federal approval for Northern Gateway saying that the government failed in its duty to consult first nations.
We will be calling on the federal government to legislate a permanent, binding oil tanker ban for BC’s north coast — the surest way to protect the Great Bear Rainforest from oil spills.