Cancelling Nature

In June 2014 the Canadian federal government gave the final green light to the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project, subject to 209 conditions that the company would have to address before construction permits will be issued. 

Enbridge said it was working with environmentalists, First Nations and Métis communities, and the governments of Alberta and British Columbia – provinces through which the proposed pipeline will run – to address their concerns and conditions and to educate the public about the benefits of the project beyond a booming economy.

Consider: twin pipes will extend 1,177 kilometers (731 miles) from the Athabasca oil sands north of Edmonton in Bruderheim, Alberta to the deep sea port of Kitmat, British Columbia. A quarter of a million barrels a day of natural gas condensate will pump east through one pipe. A half a million barrels a day of diluted bitumen will pump west through the second pipe. Supertankers will set sail through the narrow Douglas Channel.

Canada has eyes on the lucrative Pacific Rim markets and the government needs the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project to move forward.

I’ve read the arguments from Enbridge and the government for the project. Having once been a CFO for a public accounting firm that specialized in mining, I understand them. The economics and the company’s community outreach aren’t enough to convince me.  Why should we continue our reliance on fossil fuel energy when there is good work being done in sustainable, green, renewable energies?  Why should industry be allowed to proceed through environmentally- and culturally-sensitive lands?  Why should those who rely on the sea and land for a living suffer when there is a spill?

I’m frustrated. What would you do?

For more on the harm our reliance on fossil fuels causes, click here.

For more on the land and sea the proposed pipeline route will traverse, click here.

For more on those who rely on this area to make a living, click here and here.

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