From the west coast of Canada: the provincial government of British Columbia has taken action to prevent Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Contruction was scheduled to begin in September but will not be allowed to move forward on public and Tribal lands under further consultation with First Nations is completed. The government has retained a legal advisor and is exploring ways to join challenges to the pipeline that are already underway.
The pipeline was approved by Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) last May and approved by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last December. By the NEB’s own analysis, the pipeline would increase oil tanker traffic in the Salish Sea, an area designated as critical habitat for the endangered Southern Resident orca population in both Canada and the United States – by 700%: from 5 to 34 oil tankers per month.
“We are pleased to see action by the government of British Columbia to protect the beautiful Salish Sea and the endagered orcas that live there,” says Colleen Weiler, WDC’s Rekos Fellow for Orca Conservation. “The pipeline would significantly impact the Southern Resident orcas, already living on the brink of extinction. This in an important step in preventing the development of this harmful project.“