The government of British Columbia has officially opposed the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline. Last Friday, in a submission to the Northern Gateway Pipeline Joint Review Panel, the government citied a lack of sufficient evidence regarding response procedures for potential oil spills. B.C. Environment Minister Terry Lake stated that Enbridge did not satisfactorily answer oil spill related questions posed by the B.C. government during hearings presided over by the Joint Review Panel. As a result, the province will not issue a certificate of approval for the Northern Gateway pipeline.
First Nations groups in the region celebrate this recent development, and congratulate the B.C. government for acknowledging Enbridge’s failure to address the serious environmental risks posed by the pipeline. They are also hopeful that the government’s refusal to approve Enbridge’s pipeline signifies an increased commitment to respect First Nations’ rights and traditional land titles. First Nations groups have been significantly involved in the review process – thirteen First Nations groups living along the proposed route of the pipeline submitted final arguments to the Joint Review Panel, with each submission outlining the threats to their traditional way of life should the pipeline be completed.
The Northern Gateway pipeline would consist of two pipelines connecting the Alberta oil sands to an ocean tanker port on the North Coast of B.C. with the capacity to transfer 525,000 barrels of oil per day. The Joint Review Panel will hear final arguments beginning June 17, and will submit a report to the federal government by the end of the year. The federal government will then make the final decision with regards to the pipeline.
B.C. officially opposes Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline, CBC, 1 June 2013
First Nations make final case against pipeline, The Prince George Citizen, 6 June 2013.
Join the Dogwood Initiative, sign their petition to stop crude oil tanker traffic through B.C’s coastal waters.
Write to Joe Oliver, Federal Minister of Natural Resources, and express your opposition to the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline before the final review reaches Parliament.