Target: Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper
Goal: Protest the Prime Minister’s approval of the Northern Gateway Pipeline’s construction
Canada recently approved construction of the Northern Gateway Pipeline, planned to carry crude oil from Alberta’s tar sands to the British Columbia Coast where it would be exported abroad. The move is an attempt to bolster Canada’s economy, but environmentalists argue the true cost is simply too high. While the pipeline has to pass a series of rigorous conditions before it can be built, it would still put the environment and wildlife in jeopardy and deepen dependence on crude oil.
The Northern Gateway Pipeline will cost an estimated $7.9 billion and move 525,000 barrels of crude oil a day, according to The Wall Street Journal, most of which will later be exported to markets abroad. The project will also require the Port of Kitimat to be expanded so it can accommodate countless oil tankers.
Unlike the process in the United States, just because the federal government approved creation of the Northern Gateway Pipeline it still has to meet 209 conditions–a series of environmental, structural, and operations concerns–before construction can begin. It will take the company, Enbridge, 12-15 months to meet all of these requirements at which point the National Energy Board will review the pipeline for approval.
Environmentalists and indigenous groups are concerned about the pipeline’s impact on salmon, caribou and grizzly bears. Indigenous groups are also concerned about the well being of the all-white “spirit bear” who lives along the proposed path of the oil tankers. Others are concerned with whether or not the pipeline could ever truly be safe, as history has shown the massive damage inflicted on wildlife when a pipeline ruptures. Some environmentalists believe that Enbridge will never be able to create the pipeline due to the conditions required and the strength of opposition.
Our reliance on crude oil is a deeply unhealthy one. Our wildlife and environment should not continue to suffer due to human activity. Express your outrage over the Canadian Prime Minister’s decision to approve this terrible pipeline.
Dear Prime Minister Harper,
Plans for the Northern Gateway Pipeline have stirred outrage and controversy in your country and around the world. While the pipeline was approved by the federal government, it still needs the approval of the National Energy Board. Despite all of these precautions environmentalists and indigenous groups are furious with your decision. This pipeline would have a severe impact on wildlife and the environment–an unacceptably high cost.
I am writing to protest the pipeline’s construction. While there are many precautions in place the fact of the matter is crude oil is a dirty resource, one that pollutes our planet. The world should not continue to rely on it and should instead fully embrace renewable energy. Please consider its long-term impacts and the tremendous public opposition to the Northern Gateway Pipeline, and ensure it is never built.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: U.S. Geological Survey via Wikimedia Commons