Tsleil-Waututh Chief travels to New York City to oppose Kinder Morgan pipeline

Image: CNW Group/Tsleil-Waututh Nation.

Image: CNW Group/Tsleil-Waututh Nation.

New York, NY – Chief Maureen Thomas of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation is in New York City this week, meeting with dozens of Kinder Morgan’s top institutional shareholders to express opposition to Kinder Morgan’s proposed expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

The meetings follow last week’s meetings in Ottawa, where the Chief reminded members of Parliament and Cabinet that stopping the project is not just in Tsleil-Waututh’s interests, but for the benefit of everyone.

“A large oil spill in Burrard Inlet would set back all our environmental restoration efforts there, and the greenhouse gas emissions will only make fires and floods around the world worse,” said Chief Thomas. “Tsleil-Waututh has the constitutionally protected rights and the legal tools to stop the expansion and it is important that Kinder Morgan’s investors and analysts understand that.”

The meetings come a few weeks after Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) recommended conditional approval of the expansion proposal, subject to 157 conditions. The federal cabinet has until December to make a final decision.

The NEB review has been widely panned as a flawed process led by industry insiders. In May, Prime Minister Trudeau appointed a three-member ministerial panel try to restore confidence in the broken regulatory process.

Tsleil-Waututh has also challenged the scoping of the NEB’s environmental review in Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal. The Nation is awaiting a decision that might force the review to start over.

Investors have called the Kinder Morgan proposal the “Keystone of the north.” The second Trans Mountain pipeline would end in Tsleil-Waututh territory at the Westridge Marine Terminal near Vancouver, British Columbia. It would move more Alberta tar sands oil to marine waters. The expansion would triple the volume shipped to nearly 900,000 barrels/day and increase vessel traffic in Burrard Inlet and the Salish Sea seven-fold, from about one tanker a week to more than one a day.

The Tsleil-Waututh Nation is a progressive, vibrant community of approximately 500 members located along the shores of Burrard Inlet in North Vancouver, BC, across the Inlet from the Burnaby terminus of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline. The Nation’s Sacred Trust Initiative was developed to oppose and stop the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker expansion.

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