Target: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Goal: Reverse the approval of the Trans-Mountain Oil Pipeline expansion.
The Canadian government has approved a pipeline expansion that will carry tar sands oil from the Canadian Province of Alberta to Burnaby, British Columbia. The Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion would almost triple the capacity of the existing pipeline, increasing daily capacity from 300,000 to 890,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
When announcing the decision, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claimed that the economic growth from the pipeline would be used to help in Canada’s transition to renewable resources. However, the $7 billion dollar investment may well serve to tie the Canadian economy to the oil industry for decades to come. Furthermore, environmental impact estimates the pipeline will result in 13.5 to 17 megatons of greenhouse gas emissions each year.
Furthermore, less than a third of First Nations communities in the pipeline’s path have signed agreements with pipeline parent company Kinder-Morgan. While the federal government has claimed it will hold the pipeline to the highest environmental standards, multiple leaks are practically a certainty. The Trans-Mountain pipeline was closed in 2013 after two leaks in a single month — increasing the pipeline’s capacity may well make leaks worse.
Lastly, but most importantly, continued investment in fossil fuel infrastructure is incompatible with attempts to mitigate global climate change. Eighty-five percent of proven tar sands oil must stay in the ground for Canada to meet its targets under the Paris Agreement, more if the goal of 1.5-degree warming is to be achieved. Increasing exports of tar sands oil is clearly incompatible with this goal. Sign our petition to demand that the Canadian government reverse its decision to approve this pipeline.
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,
As you no doubt know, 85 percent of oil sands resources must remain in the ground, unburned and unexported for our world to avoid catastrophic climate change. In Paris, your government committed to averting warming above 2 degrees and making all possible effort to achieve a 1.5 degrees goal. This would require emissions cuts and a rapid transition to renewable energy resources. Your approval of the Trans-Mountain pipeline is a betrayal of these commitments.
A $6.8 billion investment is not a short term investment, and 13.5 to 17 megatons of emissions is not a minor increase. There is no credible argument that increasing Canadian oil exports by over 590,000 barrels per day, three times the Northern gateway pipeline capacity, will contribute in any way to reductions in emissions, or the transition to renewable resources. You have promised high environmental standards, but Trans-Mountain has leaked before and will leak again. You cite consultations with First Nations communities, yet less than a third have signed the agreement with Kinder Morgan.
You stated that you will not be swayed by political arguments, but these are facts. If your government needs to raise funds from the oil and gas industry, I urge you to revoke the $1.6 billion dollars in subsidies handed to the industry each year by your government. For the future of Canada, and the planet, I urge you to reverse your decision on the Trans-Mountain pipeline.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Kai Lehmann