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Enbridge Northern Gateway

Despite more than 200 issues with Enbridge's application to build its Northern Gateway pipeline, and despite widespread opposition to this controversial conduit for dirty darty sands oil, the Harper government approved Enbridge's project proposal in June, 2014. But First Nations and environmental and community groups have sworn it will never be built because of the excessive risks to the economic and ecological well-being along the pipeline route and coastal B.C.

If built, Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline would run west from the Alberta tar sands to the port of Kitimat, British Columbia. The pipeline would cross 800 critical salmon-bearing streams and terminate in the heart of the world-renowned Great Bear Rainforest, where hundreds of super tankers larger than the Exxon Valdez would transport heavy tar sands oil through the world's fourth most dangerous waterway.

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Overview:
- New twin pipeline from Alberta to Kitimat, B.C.
Key Problems:
- Ignores First Nations territorial rights
- Crosses over 800 salmon streams
- Ends in heart of Great Bear Rainforest
- 400 super tankers through world's fourth most dangerous waterway
Current Status:
- First Nations launch court challenges to Harper government's approval of the project in June, 2014

Northern Gateway has sparked fierce and unprecedented opposition from citizens, First Nations and communities of all political stripes, because it poses such unacceptable risks to the environment and local economies of B.C.

According to Enbridge’s own calculations, there is a 23 per cent chance of at least one major super tanker spill during the 50-year lifespan of the Northern Gateway Pipeline. And a recent study from Simon Fraser University using internationally accepted scenarios calculated the likihood of nearly 800 pipeline spills over 50 years. Major spills would be almost impossible to clean up, would put local and regional economies and water sources at risk, and threaten endangered salmon populations that depend on clean water to spawn.

Like the Keystone XL and other new pipelines, Northern Gateway is also the key part of the oil industry's plans to unlock the rapid expansion of the tar sands, locking us into a further 50+ years of fossil fuel dependence and leading directly to catastrophic climate change.

Opposition against Northern Gateway is unprecedented. More than 130 B.C. First Nations have formed an unbroken wall of opposition to Enbridge's pipeline plans, a stance that will make it difficult for the project to proceed given that most B.C. First Nations have constitutionally protected rights over resource projects that cross their unceded lands. Eight First Nations from Haida Gwaii to Yinka Dene territory west of Prince George have set in motion legal proceedings that have the potential to stop or significantly delay the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipelines and tankers project.

More than 140 federal politicians and 36 provincial politicians oppose it, as do twenty local governments including Vancouver, Prince Rupert, Terrace, Smithers, and the districts of Fort St. James, Skeena-Queen Charlotte and Kitimat-Stikine, who have all passed formal resolutions opposing Northern Gateway. In 2010 and 2012, the Union of BC Municipalities itself also passed major resolutions in opposition to pipelines and oil tankers.

Thousands of B.C. and Canadian citizens have publicly opposed Northern Gateway in ways and numbers not seen in the environmental movement in decades. Hundreds of protests have taken place in almost every community in the province, and polling consistently shows that between 60 and 80 per cent of British Columbians of all political leanings oppose the project.

The Northern Gateway Pipeline has no business risking all that makes British Columbia such a special place. That’s why so many people are working to make sure it never gets built.

Enbridge Northern Gateway Updates & Resources

Tanker safety reductions proposed at Canada’s riskiest port

Editors | Tar Sands Solutions - January 28th 2015

Blog Post: Groups opposed to the Northern Gateway pipeline and tanker project today expressed their concern in the face of a major change to safety requirements proposed for a port assessed by Transport Canada as having the highest risk of any existing Canadian port for an oil spill. “If the federal government is willing to roll back critical protection to speed up tanker traffic for oil companies, then what hope can we have that Enbridge will be required to live up to their promises in the Great Bear Sea?” said Caitlyn Vernon, campaigns director of Sierra Club BC.

You did it!

Feature

Jason Mogus | Pull Together - January 2nd 2015

Blog Post: Thank YOU for everything you did to help reach Pull Together’s 2014 goal of raising $300K! That translates to a lot of support for First Nations legal challenges against Enbridge and its Northern Gateway pipeline proposal. In a marvelous display of solidarity, British Columbians and people from across the country stepped up and have become allies in the effort to protect our land, waters, and future.

Oil pipeline projects face litany of challenges heading into 2015

Lauren Krugel | Canadian Press - December 21st 2014

Press Clipping: Once considered a rather ho-hum line of business, pipelines dominated much of the public discourse in 2014. In recent years, the debate has spread beyond the direct environmental impacts of putting steel in the ground into broader issues around anything from global climate change to First Nations rights. Although proposed projects from Alberta's oilsands to the east, west and U.S. Gulf Coasts made some progress over the past year, their prospects remain far from certain.

Keystone XL pipeline’s economic argument may expire: experts

Zi-Ann Lum | Huffington Post Canada - December 16th 2014

Press Clipping: The juncture of falling oil prices colliding with TransCanada’s push for its US$8-billion Keystone XL pipeline may undermine the argument that the project makes economic sense, according to analysts. Sandy Fielden, RBN Energy's director of energy analytics, told the L.A. Times the impact of falling prices may rattle support for Keystone XL. “The economics of this project are becoming increasingly borderline,” she said. But TransCanada isn’t showing any signs it’s fazed by the dropping prices.

Enbridge Northern Gateway’s Year in Review: Opposition shows strength in numbers

December 16th 2014

Visual: This week, groups are marking the anniversary of the Joint Review Panel’s recommendation to approve Enbridge’s controversial pipeline and tanker project with a retrospective index. “One year after the hearings concluded, the opposition to Enbridge’s pipeline and tankers is as strong as ever,” said Gerald Amos of the Friends of Wild Salmon. “Enbridge has failed to win social licence for the project or meet any of its 209 conditions, and British Columbians and First Nations are pulling together to stop the project in the courts.”

Enbridge bringing opponents together

Fred Sam and Brenda Gouglas | Prince George Citizen - December 12th 2014

Blog Post: re's a surprising statement that you'll sometimes hear at rallies against the Enbridge Northern Gateway project: "I want to thank Enbridge for bringing us together." The comment may be tongue-in-cheek, but it has some truth to it. The strong opposition to Northern Gateway is a common ground that is helping First Nations and non-First Nations people forge new links with each other.

BC First Nation chiefs: We’ll do what needs to be done to make sure Northern Gateway is never built

Editors | Tar Sands Solutions - December 10th 2014

Blog Post: On the fourth anniversary of the Save the Fraser Declaration, an Indigenous law supported by more than 100 First Nations to ban tar sands pipelines and tankers from their territories, the Yinka Dene Alliance (YDA) is sending Alberta Premier Jim Prentice a map and timeline of opposition to the Enbridge Northern Gateway project, to make sure his government fully understands the opposition the project faces.