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Enbridge Northern Gateway

"S.H.A.M.E on Enbridge" Photo credit: Kevin Konnyu

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

In the oil sands, a painful shift to a new normal

Feature

Jeff Lewis | Globe and Mail - May 18th 2015

Press Clipping: For years, Alberta’s deposits of tarry bitumen attracted billions in investment from the world’s oil giants. Those days are gone. Today, the sector is reeling amid a price shock that has sapped billions from corporate budgets and forced a dramatic rethink about the companies’ role in global energy markets. By one estimate, as much as 1.2 million barrels per day of future production capacity has been put on hold, only a fraction of which will be resurrected. This slimmer production outlook will ease demand for multibillion-dollar pipelines, potentially delaying projects such as Northern Gateway and Energy East well into next decade.

Closer than ever, but not there yet

Feature

Jason Mogus | Pull Together - May 7th 2015

Press Clipping: While it gives us hope to see the election of an Alberta Premier who recognizes Northern Gateway’s environmental impacts, respects First Nations opposition, and knows that BC citizens simply don’t want it punched through our province and coastlines, our work is not yet done. Unfortunately the Alberta government has no jurisdiction over this pipeline, and Northern Gateway’s chief proponents -- Enbridge itself and the Federal Government who lobbies for it -- are still hard at work. First Nations are still in court, fighting costly battles to stop it, and we are either standing with them or they are standing alone. Are you in.

Federal politician delivers anti-pipeline talk

Steve Kidd | Penticton Western News - March 30th 2015

Press Clipping: Should Nathan Cullen decide to end his political career, he could probably take up being a stand-up comic to replace it. In the first few minutes of a talk in Penticton on Saturday, March 28, the NDP MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley had a room full of 100 people laughing. But while Cullen’s light style and storytelling kept the audience engaged and entertained, he was serious about communicating his message of opposition to the Northern Gateway pipeline proposal. “He has presented a bill in Ottawa to ban supertankers on our wild west coast,” said Merle Kindred, one of the organizers of the event for the Dogwood Initiative, which is collecting pledges in opposition to the pipeline.

CSIS helped government prepare for expected Northern Gateway protests

Feature

Jim Bronskill | Canadian Press - March 18th 2015

Press Clipping: Canada's spy agency helped senior federal officials figure out how to deal with protests expected last summer in response to resource and energy development issues — including a pivotal decision on the Northern Gateway pipeline. Release of the material comes amid widening concern among environmentalists and civil libertarians about the spy agency's role in gathering information on opponents of natural resource projects. Those worries have been heightened by proposed anti-terrorism legislation that would allow CSIS to go a step further and actively disrupt suspected extremist plots.

Don’t build more pipelines

Feature

Tim Gray | Environmental Defence - February 26th 2015

Press Clipping: Federal politicians can’t have it both ways on climate. Far too many Canadian politicians hold the erroneous view that we can address climate change while, at the same time, growing the tar sands and their pipelines. We can’t. There is a direct link between the pipelines, tar sands expansion, and carbon emissions. Industry needs the pipelines to grow. Industry officials have said so on multiple occasions. The most direct way to address the environmental impacts of pipelines is, of course, not to build the pipelines. Building pipelines while smiling and talking soothingly about better listening won’t change the carbon emissions math.

Courts, costs stall Northern Gateway as Enbridge eyes new West Coast pipeline project

Robin Rowland | Northwest Coast Energy News - February 25th 2015

Press Clipping: Court challenges and rising costs will stall the Northern Gateway project for most of 2015, Enbridge says in its Fourth Quarter (2014) Strategic Update, released Friday. That means if the Northern Gatway project actually goes ahead, the company now says it will not be completed until at least 2020 or 2021. The strategic planning report also contains cryptic references that Enbridge is now planning a second pipeline project to the “west coast” possibly to carry LNG, that could also be completed by 2020 or 2021.

Is Northern Gateway being quietly shelved?

Feature

Tracy Johnson | CBC News - February 21st 2015

Press Clipping: Since that June 2014 decision to approve the Northern Gateway pipeline, things have been mighty quiet on the Northern Gateway front, with no mention of the pipeline in the Q4 earnings, nor in the end of quarter conference call, and only a page dedicated to the project in Enbridge’s 75-page year-end information form. That raises the question: Is Northern Gateway being quietly shelved?