Organizations and community groups condemn Enbridge review process
PRINCE RUPERT - Criticism of the federal government’s review of theEnbridge Northern Gateway pipeline proposal is building. Nineteen environmental and community organizations have written to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency expressing concern that the terms of reference for the review ignore climate change, tar sands expansion and the question of allowing oil tankers on B.C.'s North Coast.
“The Enbridge project is provincially, nationally and globally significant and deserves a thorough and extensive review,” said Oonagh O’Connor, Energy Program Manager for Living Oceans Society. “If the Joint Review Panel ignores tar sands expansion and the long-standing oil tanker moratorium, it will be doing a disservice to all Canadians.”
The past eight federal governments have all respected a moratorium on oil tanker traffic on B.C.'s North Coast, which the current federal government has chosen to ignore.
“Before we look at the impacts of the project, we should be asking whether communities are willing to allow massive oil tankers on our coast,” said Jennifer Rice, Energy Campaigner for the T.Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation.
Tanker spills associated with the Enbridge project would likely affect the coastline of the world-famous Great Bear Rainforest – the world's largest intact temperate rainforest.
“Most people do not want oil tankers in the Great Bear Rainforest,” said Ian McAllister, Conservation Director for Pacific Wild. “An oil spill would cause irreversible damage to the wild salmon, bears and other species that make this region so special.”
A recent Pembina Institute report found the Enbridge pipeline would increase tar sands output by 30 percent, and add 6.5 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually.
“Enbridge’s proposed pipeline and tanker project is inextricably linked to tar sands expansion,” said Nikki Skuce, Senior Energy Campaigner with Forest Ethics. “The tar sands are the fastest growing source of climate pollution in Canada, and their impacts must be part of the project assessment.”
More than 2,000 people wrote the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency regarding the review’s terms of reference – more submissions than the agency has received for any other project in its history.
Karen Wirsten, Living Oceans Society 604-696-5044
Jennifer Rice, T.Buck Suzuki Foundation 250-600-2455
Ian McAllister, Pacific Wild 250-957-2480
Nikki Skuce, Forest Ethics 250-877-7762
Living Oceans Society and 18 other conservation groups called on the federal government to broaden the scope of the Joint Review Panel assessing the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project.