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New report makes the case for stopping tar sands pipelines

The Council of Canadians is launching a new report today titled No Pipelines! No Tankers!, coinciding with a multi-city speaking tour of the same name to challenge key tar sands pipelines. The report is available for download on the Council of Canadians website.

The speaking tour begins today in Fort McMurray, Alberta, with a 6:30pm public forum at MacDonald Island Park, 1 C.A. Knight Way.

The No Pipelines! No Tankers! report profiles the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline Project and the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline, which would cut across B.C. to ship tar sands crude to international markets from coastal waters. These pipeline profiles examine what these projects are proposing, what the risks are, what opposition exists, and where governments stand.

“If these and other pipelines are allowed to be built, there will be no incentive in the foreseeable future to cut back on the production of fossil fuels and convert to the clean energy future we and the planet need,” says Council of Canadians national chairperson Maude Barlow. “These pipelines are not only the arteries carrying the dirtiest oil on Earth, they become the drivers of an expanded industry as there will be relentless pressure to keep them full. We must and will stop these pipelines.”

The Council of Canadians is joining the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation in Fort McMurray today as they file a constitutional hearing against the Shell Jackpine Mine Expansion proposal. 

“We need to stop the pipelines at the source,” says Maryam Adrangi, climate and energy campaigner with the Council of Canadians. “These projects would benefit a few fossil fuel companies while putting millions of people and the planet at risk.”

The report notes that communities near the tar sands have faced rising rates of cancer, asthma, and cardiovascular diseases.

The report argues, “We must collectively shift the idea of what is in the ‘national interest,’moving it away from the Harper government’s agenda that favours Big Oil companies’ plans to send tar sands crude through pipelines and tankers no matter what the cost, and focus it instead on ensuring our collective well-being by providing safe drinking water, clean air, green and local jobs, and a secure climate future.”

Tar sands crude is also the single largest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada and is a clear impediment to finding a solution to the climate crisis. 

“The Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline, Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project, as well as the Pacific Trails fracking pipeline are all part of a larger strategy to expand the market reach of tar sands crude and exploit natural resources,” says Adrangi. “Fractures in pipelines would impact the health, water, and livelihood of communities, and any accidents with large supertankers would devastate unique and sensitive ecosystems."

The No Pipelines! No Tankers! speaking tour will take place in key communities along the planned routes of the Enbridge Northern Gateway, Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain, and the Pacific Trails pipelines: Fort McMurray, Kamloops, Burnaby, Nanaimo, Smithers and Prince George from October 23 to 30.