Sunday, February 16, 2014

New Pipeline Would Bring Tankers of Tar Sands Through Tribal Waters Every Day

Ancestors of the paddlers, the Coast Salish Indians, had paddled the same waters to Washington state for hundreds of years, using canoes as spiritual vessels. (Credit: AP/Elaine Thompson) Click to enlarge.
As the battle over President Obama's impending decision regarding the controversial Keystone XL rages on in the public eye, another similar tar sands pipeline is in the works -- the environmental implications of which are just as nasty as Keystone, according to a coalition of Native American and First Nation tribes who are fighting the project.

More than seven tribes of Coast Salish peoples, indigenous people from both Washington state and Canada who base their living off the Salish Sea, on Thursday announced their intention to intervene in legal proceedings regarding Kinder Morgan's proposed Trans Mountain pipeline project.  If approved, the $5.4 billion Trans Mountain project would nearly triple the flow of oil through the existing Trans Mountain pipeline from Edmonton to the British Columbia coast.

The new pipeline would increase the capacity of the Trans Mountain pipeline system from 300,000 to 890,000 barrels per day, more than the 830,000 barrels that Keystone XL would carry to the Gulf Coast.  The demand to keep the pipeline full would guarantee that more tar sands would be mined, and more carbon dioxide would be spewed into the atmosphere.

The fight over Trans Mountain also serves as a reminder that Keystone XL is not the only enormous pipeline project in the works.  Rapidly increasing production from Alberta's tar sands and vast oil and natural gas deposits around America means pipeline proposals are popping up like daisies -- and many are likely not getting the scrutiny they need.

New Pipeline Would Bring Tankers of Tar Sands Through Tribal Waters Every Day

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