On Friday the joint provincial-federal review panel on the Teck Frontier tar sands mine granted a conditional approval to what could become the largest tar sands mine ever in Canada.
The negative impacts of this mine are clear: permanent and irreversible damage to wetlands, peat lands, old growth forests, and Indigenous communities. It would produce four metric megatons of carbon emissions every year for 41 years (that’s just production-related emissions, not the emissions from burning the fuel that the mine would produce), making it very difficult for us to meet any reasonable emissions targets. There are clear and irreversible impacts on local Indigenous nations who have fought for decades to keep the tar sands from expanding, only to be bullied into signing agreements with the companies.
Image of an open pit tar sands mine near Fort McMurray, AB. Credit: CBC
We’re not giving up. This joint panel approval is just one of many steps in a larger regulatory process, giving us more chances for intervention. Plus, the profit margins are so narrow that fulfilling the conditions – or even just getting delayed – could push this project over the edge.
Stay tuned for our next steps.