Thursday, August 16, 2012

Just Two More Weeks to Weigh in on Enbridge Pipeline

There are just two more weeks before the public comment period on the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline. Please take a few minutes to speak up against the pipeline, which if approved, would be among the greatest environmental travesties of our time. The pipeline path crosses the Fraser, runs down the Skeena, before being loaded onto tankers 10 times the size of the Exxon Valdez at Kitimat. The unprocessed crude bitumen (an oily slude mined in the tar sand) must then be shipped out the Douglas Channel en route to markets in China. A spill anywhere along the proposed route would spell catastrophe, and even Enbridge admits that there is not guarantee against such a disaster. It really is only a matter of time if the pipeline is approved. First Nations along the route are understandably alarmed and unanimously oppose to the proposal. Polling also suggests that the residents of British Columbia do not support the pipeline with more than 70% of respondents in recent polls saying they do not support the pipeline proposal.

The bottom line is, the Enbridge Pipeline poses potentially catastrophic environmental risks to a huge swath of British Columbia, including  three of the most productive salmon bearing ecosystems on earth. Furthermore, opening up a massive artery for the export of fossil fuels mined from the boreal forest of Alberta puts our planet's climate on an extremely dangerous trajectory providing only a few hundred jobs in British Columbia.

The Enbridge Pipeline is not only unethical, it risks many of the sustainable resource based industries which are the backbone of Coastal BC's economy. Yet, in the rush to appease their allies in the oil and gas industry the federal government has done everything they can to pave the way for the project, cutting funding for oil spill first responders, gutting the Federal Fisheries Act, and eliminating the Ocean Pollution Monitoring program. By all accounts the Joint Review Panel process has been a fiasco with Enbridge's representatives and the JRP panel members treating community members with an unprecedented level of contempt and disrespect, reflecting the disregard the Canadian federal government has for local communities.

Please take a few minutes to submit comments on the pipeline, and help stem the tide against the destruction of British Columbia's wild salmon and the communities that depend on them.

More information from the Steelhead Society of British Columbia:

Note: the bulletin from the Steelhead Society lists the deadline as March 2012, but the comment period was extended.

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