For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Yianni Varonis, Senior Communications Strategist, Greenpeace USA: 330-806-3599, yvaronis@greenpeace.org

Greenpeace Canada Activists Occupy Kinder Morgan Monster Drill”

WASHINGTON - Two activists from Greenpeace Canada have occupied an essential piece of equipment to be used in the construction of Kinder Morgan’s new tar sands oil pipeline. The peaceful protest aims to resist Kinder Morgan’s plans to drill a path through Indigenous lands on Burnaby Mountain, a site of pipeline protest located in Canada near the Washington border.

“This pipeline fight is one of many. We’ve been connecting all our fights against pipelines across North America and the world, and I want to give specific respect to those who have been fighting Energy Transfer Partners in the United States, especially those who have been defending against the Bayou Bridge pipeline. So, I just want to say from Burnaby to the Bayou, I see you and respect you. I really love and respect the work all Land, Air, and Water Protectors are doing all around the world to prevent resources extraction in their territories and in their communities,” said Mary Lovell, who grew up southeast of Seattle, is a dual citizen of Canada and the United States, and who calls the Pacific Northwest home.

Climbing duo, Mary Lovell and Laura Yates, climbed the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) just before dawn. From atop what they’ve dubbed the ‘monster drill’, they lowered a banner reading “Protect Water, Stop Pipelines” and waved a giant flag reading “Here’s the Drill: Stop KM.”

Greenpeace Canada tracked the ‘monster drill’ from Germany on a cross-continental journey to a holding facility in the Vancouver suburb of Delta, where the ongoing action is taking place. [1] Without this piece of equipment, there can be no pipeline expansion, making it a sure flashpoint for the growing resistance against oil pipelines. [2]

The climbers intend to remain in place for as long as possible. They hope to expose the ‘monster drill’, and highlight the people-powered movement to stop new oil pipelines that threaten human rights, water and wildlife, and contribute to climate change.

Today’s action comes against the backdrop of overwhelming momentum for the movement against oil pipelines. Kinder Morgan announced that it would cease all non-mandatory spending on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and has set a May 31 deadline to decide if it will continue on with the project. HSBC, the seventh largest bank in the world, recently announced that it would no longer fund new tar sands oil pipelines. And recently a judge recommended only a conditional approval to Enbridge’s non-preferred route, opening up a number of other challenges and potential delays.

Kinder Morgan isn’t the only oil pipeline company to use bullying tactics. ETP, the company that built the Dakota Access pipeline, is suing Greenpeace entities in a baseless $900m SLAPP suit, falsely accusing the groups of being a “criminal enterprise” that orchestrated the Standing Rock protests.

From the fight against Kinder Morgan to those against Energy Transfer Partners, [3] TransCanada and Enbridge, Greenpeace stands with a united movement to stop oil companies’ new pipelines from risking water pollution, fuelling climate change and violating Indigenous rights.

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