It's So Easy to Say NO, Follow British Columbia's Lead

It’s not that hard to say NO to a tar sands pipeline, here’s how British Columbia (BC) did it today:

Enbridge proposed its Northern Gateway pipeline to the BC government and … tada! they said NO.

If a Canadian province can do it, why should it be so difficult for the US to make the same decision?

It didn’t take years to decide either, just a quick overview of the facts: officials didn’t find any evidence that Enbridge (given its sterling performance in Kalamazoo and elsewhere) could transport the oil safely or that it had a sufficient response plan for spills
should they occur.

"British Columbia thoroughly reviewed all of the evidence and submissions made to the panel and asked substantive questions
about the project, including its route, spill response capacity and financial structure to handle any incidents.  Our questions were not satisfactorily answered during these hearings," BC Environment Minister Terry Lake, told CBC News.

Enbridge will return to quell their fears with answers to their concerns next month. After that the province will present its final report to the federal government, which unfortunately, will make the decision on whether the pipeline can go ahead.

The Northern Gateway is a $5.5-billion project where two pipelines would stretch over 1,177-kilometers from Alberta to a port in northern British Columbia, carrying 525,000 barrels of oil a day.

BC’s government writes:

"The project before JRP (Joint Review Panel) is not a typical pipeline. For  example: the behavior in water of the material to be transported is incompletely understood; the terrain the pipeline would cross is not only remote, it is in many places extremely difficult to access; the impact of spills into pristine river environments would be profound.

"In these particular and unique circumstances, Enbridge should not be granted a certificate on the basis of a promise to do more study and planning once the certificate is granted. The standard in this particular case must be higher."

"’Trust me’ is not good enough in this case."

The proposed pipeline has been the subject of persistent, vociferous opposition from BC citizens.


BC’s Coastal First Nations congratulated the government for rejecting the pipeline: "The Coastal First Nations have banned oil tankers from their traditional territories in the Great Bear Rainforest, and have invested more than $300 million dollars over the past decade to establish a sustainable economy on the coast."

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