For Immediate Release


Death of Northern Gateway a Reminder That Tar Sands Pipelines Are Not Inevitable

Late last week, Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal put the final nail in the coffin of the controversial proposed Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline. The court overturned the approval of the project on the basis that the Canadian government, under the previous Prime Minister Stephen Harper, did not properly consult with First Nations along the pipeline’s proposed route. This sends the decision to Prime Minister Trudeau, who has publicly opposed the pipeline.
The court’s decision comes as another Canadian tar sands company, TransCanada, is embarking on a lawsuit before a NAFTA tribunal to claim $15 billion in damages from American taxpayers, claiming that the rejection of its Keystone XL tar sands pipeline was unfair and arbitrary. But the death of yet another tar sands project that faced fierce opposition is a clear reminder that the construction of tar sands pipelines in North America is far from inevitable.
Pipelines like Northern Gateway and Keystone XL are facing increasing opposition across the continent because of the serious threats they pose to land, water, communities, Indigenous Peoples’ rights, and the climate. It is clear that they are not in the national interests of neither Canada, nor the United States, nor Indigenous nations, and that is the reason they are being rejected.  
As opposition grows to these reckless projects, the tar sands industry should see the rejection of Keystone XL not as some arbitrary one-off, but as a sign of things to come.

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The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, nonprofit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has 1.2 million members and online activists, served from offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Beijing.

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