Target: Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
Goal: Oppose costly expansion that would triple the amount of oil carried by the Trans Mountain pipeline.
British Columbia has just given the go ahead on an expansion plan for the Trans Mountain oil pipeline. This pipeline takes oil from the Alberta tar-sands fields and moves it to be exported to Asia. The approval came after the company was forced to meet a new set of rules laid out by the Canadian Government in 2012. Although, according to the government, the restrictions have been met, the pipeline still faces huge opposition from indigenous communities and environmental groups.
The new restrictions require a higher percentage of profits be given to the government from the pipeline; these funds could then theoretically be used for public services, including environmental protection measures. Kinder Morgan, the company behind the project, will also be required to have the most up to date oil clean-up and leak prevention systems in place. In some cases perhaps this vague requirement of “the most up to date” could be considered sufficient. But when it comes to the extremely dirty oil running through this pipeline, the threat cannot be taken too seriously.
The kind of oil coming from the Alberta tar sands is some of the dirtiest in the world. Bitumen, as it’s called, has many more heavy asphaltenes and resins than conventional oil. Also, unlike usual oil, the tar sands bitumen doesn’t float on water, making it almost impossible to clean up if spilled into an ocean, stream or river. Additionally, outside the pipeline itself, the increase in ships coming into port to transport the oil has the potential for hugely negative effects on marine ecosystems.
Although requirements were made for the building of this pipeline, they are insufficient to protect the ecosystem and communities around the pipeline. Sign this petition to stop the planned expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline.
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,
This week your government approved an expansion plan that would triple the amount of oil carried by the Trans Mountain pipeline, with a start date set for September of 2017. Although there were many regulations set before the approval of the expansion, it still poses a huge threat to ecosystems and communities in the surrounding areas.
The kind of oil being transported through the pipeline is not the conventional oil most people are familiar with, but far dirtier and more harmful tar sands bitumen. This substance does not interact with the environment in the same way conventional oil does and therefore can not be contained and controlled using practices created for normal oil. It does not float, and is much more resistant to dispersant chemicals. If this oil ever spilled into an ocean or river, the clean up would be almost impossible.
Politicians and world leaders needs to stop putting financial profit before the well-being of nature and the many creatures, humans included, who depend on it. Use your power to stop the pipeline, and ensure Canada will stay a leader in climate change prevention.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Arthur Chapman