The Enbridge Gateway pipeline project to Asian ports is the next battlefront to stop the transport of filthy tar sands. The proposed twin pipeline system between Edmonton, Alberta and a new marine terminal in Kitimat, British Columbia (B.C.) would carry tar sands oil by pipeline across B.C., to be loaded onto supertankers at an ocean terminal, and onward to Asia. Canadian tar sands production would expand by 30% - escalating the terrible ecological impacts upon the Canadian boreal forests and its water, carbon and ecosystems. There will be severe ecological impacts from the pipeline construction as well – including erosion, forest fragmentation, riparian habitat damage, and near certain leaks. While operational a serious pipeline break could occur at any time – destroying any one of the approximately 1,000 pristine streams, rivers, lakes, and natural wild salmon spawning grounds to be crossed. Tar sand production and use is highly carbon intensive, and development of this and other filthy synthetic fossil fuels (and coal) may well push the planet into abrupt and runaway climate change.
The Enbridge Gateway Pipeline project is one of five pipelines, new and expansions, proposed across Northern B.C. potentially transporting up to 700,000 barrels of oil per day. The pipelines go through B.C.'s sensitive Pacific North Coast, piercing the heart of the greater Pacific coast ecosystem. The pipeline would skirt the northern edge of the Great Bear temperate rainforest – threatening the home of the revered all-white spirit bear. Some 1500 massive supertankers will carry tar sands oil to Asia annually, passing through the narrow and treacherous, yet fragile and pristine, northwest coast passageways. One mishap – such as Enbridge’s recent broken pipelines fouling the Yellowstone and a Michigan river, or BP’s Gulf Spill – will bring disastrous results and long-term loss of marine life and sensitive coastal ecosystems. Enbridge has a history of pipeline problems, including leaks and regulatory violations.
First Nations' rights are being violated; and their and other rural communities, as well as the wild salmon upon which they depend, would be at risk from a pipeline or oil tanker spill. Yet there is reason for hope as the already stalwart indigenous resistance is growing. B.C.’s municipalities have passed a resolution opposing the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, building on an earlier declaration by several First Nations. Many Indigenous peoples including nearly 50 communities adamantly oppose the project, as well as political leaders and environmental organizations from around the globe. The First Nations peoples vow to stop the pipeline coming through their lands and to blockade tankers in their fishing boats if they have to. And it is clear they do not stand alone. This and all tar sand pipelines must not be allowed to go forward, as the world has better energy choices than dirty tar sands oil. What we need is much greater energy efficiency and conservation, and the development of critical renewable and energy-saving technologies and policies – not another tar sands oil pipeline just waiting to break.
NOTE:This is an online protest directed at those involved in the Canadian government's sham public opinion seeking process. You will receive a response saying that our PROTEST emails have not been accepted into their official comments - which can't be done via email. If you wish to submit an official comment to the Gateway pipeline review panel, follow their instructions in the email you will receive, informing you how to enter official comments. It has a few hoops to jump through to purposely make it difficult.
EARLIER CAMPAIGN SUCCESS
Read the press release: Another Tar Sands Pipeline Postponed in Major Victory for First Nations and Ecological Internet
Northern Gateway Pipeline Decision Delayed Until Late 2013 -- The Calgary Herald reports that the decision on the controversial Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline was delayed today until late 2013, a year later than planned. The three-member panel said it “would anticipate releasing the environmental assessment report in the fall of 2013 and its final decision on the project around the end of 2013.”
Perhaps in some little way us taking action here TOGETHER - people from 112 countries sending 250,000+ protest emails to those who made this decision - has helped around the edges what was primarily due the strong indigenousresistance, a coup really. EI will keep up our campaign calling for a permanent cancellation to this and all tar sands pipelines, building with, in affinity and upon others' excellent work in this regard.
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The Spirit Bear - all-white kermode/black bear sub-species - would find its temperate rainforest homes at risk. "Anyone who tells you there will be no accidents or major spills as a result of this pipeline going through is either unbelievably stupid or deliberately lying to you," says noted B.C. environmentalist David Suzuki.
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