Washington, D.C. May 29, 2018 —Today the Canadian government announced that it would buy the Trans Mountain pipeline and the infrastructure for the Expansion Project from Kinder Morgan with the intention of finding a long-term investor for the project. In response, Greenpeace USA Tar Sands Campaigner Rachel Rye Butler said:
After a constant wave of resistance and negative press in both Canada and the United States, Kinder Morgan has deemed the new Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker project too great a financial and reputational risk. Kinder Morgan’s decision speaks to the momentum of the Indigenous led movement against pipelines and the power of peaceful protest. In recent months, more than 200 people have been arrested confronting this project and those protests have spread to Quebec and across Canada, as well as Seattle, the UK, Switzerland, and beyond.
The remarkable decision of a pipeline company to give up on its own project is one of the clearest signs yet that pipelines are risky investments for companies, banks, and their shareholders. Two out of five proposed new tar sands pipelines in North America– Energy East and Northern Gateway– have now been canceled in the face of Indigenous and environmental legal challenges, widespread public opposition, and changing economics.
Let this serve as a lesson to every bank and each of their investors: the same barrage of delays, grassroots protests, political opposition, and negative press that has delayed Keystone XL and resulted in Kinder Morgan giving up the Trans Mountain pipeline won’t stop until the Trans Mountain Expansion, Enbridge’s Line 3, and other dirty pipelines are defeated.
It is unforgivable that the Canadian government is doubling down on this project. The Trans Mountain expansion would worsen the effects of global warming, violate Indigenous sovereignty, risk poisoning water, and threaten the thousands of jobs that depend on clean coasts. Canada’s decision to buy the pipeline project also guarantees increased opposition to the project and the tanker superhighway that it would create off the US West Coast.
Kinder Morgan has seen the writing on the wall for tar sands pipelines, but the Canadian government hasn’t. What hasn’t changed is that this project and all tar sands pipeline projects will continue to face massive resistance until they are cancelled for good.
The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion threatens to increase the transport of toxic tar sands oil through the Salish Sea sevenfold, creating a tar sands tanker highway off the West Coast. The Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion and tanker superhighway would endanger Southern Resident Killer Whales and fish populations, and trample Indigenous rights on both sides of the border. Moreover, such an expansion of the tar sands will exacerbate global climate change.