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Friends of the Earth U.S. Condemns the Canadian Government’s Approval of Trans Mountain Tar Sands Pipeline Expansion

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Canadian government announced today that it has approved the Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline expansion project despite widespread opposition to the pipeline on both sides of the border.

The Trans Mountain expansion would bring in 890,000 barrels of crude oil per day across Canada and out through the shared Salish Sea waters of the Northwest via oil tankers. It is expected to result in a 700 percent increase in oil tankers originating from the Westridge Marine Terminal in British Columbia, increasing vessel traffic in the Salish Sea, imperiling the endangered Southern Resident orca whales and increasing the risk of a catastrophic oil spill.

Friends of the Earth U.S. is the only national U.S. NGO to intervene and participate in the Canadian decision-making process on the pipeline.

In response to today’s announcement, Marcie Keever, oceans and vessels program director, Friends of the Earth U.S., issued the following statement:

Trudeau has established himself as the Trump of the North by approving the Trans Mountain pipeline. Ignoring established climate science and pandering to Big Oil is a dire mistake. Building this pipeline increases the likelihood of a catastrophic oil spill, jeopardizing the Salish Sea and the communities who rely on the waterway. 

While the Canadian government talks about the danger of climate change, they continue to build fossil fuel infrastructure that jeopardizes our oceans and climate. Approving the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion while claiming to be stewards of the environment is a slap in the face to indigenous peoples and orca whales, as it puts the entire West Coast region at risk of a catastrophic oil spill.

This is a turning point for our climate and for species like the Southern Resident orca whale. We can’t afford a single new pipeline project — or even an expansion of existing pipelines.

Expert contact: Marcie Keever, (415) 999-3992, mkeever@foe.org
Communications contact: Patrick Davis, (202) 222-0744, pdavis@foe.org

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