For Immediate Release
Canadian Energy Board Recommends Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion
Alberta wildfires further ignite opposition to three-fold expansion of Kinder Morgan’s tar sands pipeline
WASHINGTON - The National Energy Board of Canada today gave its stamp of approval to an expansion of the Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline that would make it 60,000 barrels per day larger than the rejected Keystone XL pipeline proposal. If final approval is given by the federal government of Canada sometime later this year, the Trans Mountain pipeline capacity would almost triple, increasing the number of oil tankers plying the waters of the Salish Sea from one per week to one per day.
The Trans Mountain pipeline currently carries 300,000 barrels per day of diluted bitumen or tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada to Burnaby, British Columbia for export through U.S. waters in the Salish Sea. Kinder Morgan’s proposal to almost triple the Trans Mountain pipeline’s capacity to 890,000 barrels per day has been pending before the Canadian National Energy Board since 2013. Friends of the Earth U.S. applied for -- and was the only U.S. NGO granted -- intervenor status in the National Energy Board decision-making process in 2014; Friends of the Earth U.S. has been actively opposing the tar sands pipeline expansion ever since.
“This has been one of the most opaque and inadequate reviews of any major U.S. oil project, worse than the decision-making processes for Keystone XL, many oil export terminals in the Pacific Northwest and Outer Continental Shelf leases,” said Marcie Keever, oceans & vessels program director for Friends of the Earth U.S. “The National Energy Board refused to consider many of our comments or even include the latest findings from the National Academy of Sciences regarding the inability to respond to a spill of tar sands-derived oil. Friends of the Earth U.S. is calling on the Trudeau administration in Canada and the U.S. Congress to extinguish this project that poses unacceptable risks to the global climate and shared waters of Washington State and British Columbia.”
“There is no way to mitigate the impacts of the heightened risk of a catastrophic oil spill to U.S. and Canadian waters associated with the increase in oil tankers from approximately once a week to once daily,” said Fred Felleman, NW consultant for Friends of the Earth. “Each of these tankers carry over 25 million gallons of tar sands-derived oil that cannot be recovered once spilled in waters that support many endangered species including the Southern Resident community of Killer Whales and Chinook salmon on which they depend.”
“The National Energy Board has no business supporting this dangerous proposal after utterly failing to consider the climate chaos associated with tar sands development,” Keever said. “The board must thoroughly consult with First Nations in Canada and Native American tribes in the U.S. before making decisions that could irreparably damage their ways of life.”
Friends of the Earth is the U.S. voice of the world's largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.