Canada greenlights tar sands pipeline threatening Salish Sea
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The federal government of Canada just announced the approval of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline despite the opposition of communities, environmental groups and tribal nations in the U.S. and Canada. The Trans Mountain pipeline runs from Alberta to British Columbia and its expansion will be bigger than Keystone XL, increasing Canadian tar sands through the pipeline from the current 300,000 to 890,000 barrels per day. It would result in a sevenfold increase in the number of oil tankers in the Salish Sea and Puget Sound, from 120 oil tanker transits per year to 816 oil tanker transits per year or from one tanker a week to more than one per day. This pipeline alone would increase the risk of a 20,000 barrel or larger oil spill by 800 percent over the next 10 years which, if an oil spill occurs, could mean the extinction of the iconic Southern Resident orcas and the devastation of the entire food chain upon which the region, especially tribes, rely.
Marcie Keever, Friends of the Earth’s oceans and vessels program director, had the following statement:
In approving this ecosystem-destroying pipeline, Canada’s leaders have ignored the threats to the Salish Sea, its marine species, and its 8 million people, including 29 Tribes and First Nations. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has decided to value short-term profits over the long-term health of the Pacific Northwest’s people, climate and orcas. Shame on Prime Minister Trudeau and his ministers for siding with Big Oil and approving a pipeline which will likely bring about the extinction of the Northwest’s iconic killer whales and drive us further towards climate disruption.