Vancouver – After more than 12,000 people surrounded the White House to protest the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, activists on the other side of North America are making it known that tar sands pipelines will also meet fierce opposition here.
“We’re inspired to see the massive opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline in Washington, DC, because that project would put us one big step further down the road to climate catastrophe by facilitating the dangerous expansion of the tar sands in Alberta,” said Ben West, Climate Campaigner for the Wilderness Committee.”We are fighting pipelines and oil tankers here in BC for the same reasons.”
In British Columbia, there is widespread opposition to increasing pipeline construction for export of tar sands crude oil. A May 2010 poll showed that 80 per cent of British Columbians supported banning crude oil tankers from BC’s coastal waters. A 2011 poll of Metro Vancouverites showed that only 35 per cent of local residents support the existing Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker traffic in the Burrard Inlet, and 31 per cent support any expansion to the pipeline.
“Clearly the vast majority of local residents don’t want oil tankers off our coast or in our inlet. We all deserve to have a say regarding these issues, but this is particularly significant for indigenous people who still have land and title rights over the area where these energy giants want to build and expand pipelines and oil tanker traffic,” said West.
First Nations have overwhelmingly stated their ongoing opposition to the Enbridge pipeline and super-tankers, and last week the Tsleil-Waututh Nation declared its strong opposition to the potential expansion of Kinder Morgan’s existing oil pipeline
that ends in Burnaby and would result in major tanker traffic increases in their traditional waters, which include Vancouver Harbour.
Municipalities throughout British Columbia are also concerned about the expansion of oil tanker traffic on the Pacific coast. The Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) recently passed an emergency resolution stating: “local governments were not actively consulted regarding Kinder Morgan’s historic or planned expansion of oil tanker traffic.”
- Harsha Walia: First Nations fight tar sands pipelines (straight.com)
- Local groups want vote on oil pipelines and tanker traffic at UBCM (straight.com)
- Top U.S. Climate Scientist: “Tar Sands are the Critical Juncture” (Video) (treehugger.com)
- Limited Export Capacity Behind Big Push For Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline (treehugger.com)