Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline Gets Approved, Ignores Massive Opposition

Energy
Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline Gets Approved, Ignores Massive Opposition

In a long-awaited announcement, the National Energy Board (NEB) released the final recommendation from the Joint Review Panel (JRP) to approve the contentious Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline project—along with a lengthy list of conditions that must be met for the pipeline to go ahead.

The panel’s report, released last week in Calgary, follows years of heated public debate and fierce opposition to the project across British Columbia—opposition that won’t be letting up any time soon.

“This is an extremely disappointing result from the panel, and it fails to address the most pressing concerns for British Columbians,” said Gwen Barlee, policy director with the Wilderness Committee

“The people of BC have spoken, and their answer to this pipeline proposal is an overwhelming ‘no’," Barlee continued. "The risk to our Pacific coast from an oil tanker spill is far too great to accept, as are the risks to our salmon-bearing streams, our communities and our climate.”

Widespread opposition to the Northern Gateway pipeline has dominated headlines throughout the environmental assessment process. More than 100 First Nations have formally rejected the Enbridge proposal, the Union of BC Municipalities has passed a resolution opposing it and even the BC government has stated that it cannot support the project.

“If the JRP had actually listened to the thousands of experts and citizens who participated in the public process, they would have rejected this reckless project," said Vancouver Island campaigner Torrance Coste. “Sadly, today’s results are exactly what we expected—proof that our democratic system is broken.” 

“Here in BC there is nothing more important to us than the health of the coast, and this decision to approve a project so risky and so short-sighted completely disrespects the people of this province,” Coste said.

The NEB’s recommendation was accompanied by a list of 209 conditions for approval of the pipeline, including the development of a marine mammal protection plan, a caribou habitat restoration plan and a research program on the behaviour and clean-up of heavy oil. Many of the conditions are administrative, and others contain vague, unenforceable language.

“Our federal government and industry have repeatedly assured us that they can mitigate the project’s risks and impacts, but ‘world-class’ slogans won’t protect our coast when the first tanker hits a rock,” said Barlee. “The panel may have said this high risk project should proceed, but the people in BC will make the final decision—and they will put a healthy coast and a stable climate over oil profits every time.”

Due to changes made in 2012 to Canada’s Environmental Assessment Act, the final decision on Northern Gateway rests with the Federal Cabinet. Now that the JRP’s recommendations have been released, Cabinet has up to 180 days to respond.

Visit EcoWatch’s TAR SANDS and PIPELINES pages for more related news on this topic.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Atlantic puffins courting at Maine Coastal Island National Wildlife Refuge in 2009. USFWS / Flickr

When Europeans first arrived in North America, Atlantic puffins were common on islands in the Gulf of Maine. But hunters killed many of the birds for food or for feathers to adorn ladies' hats. By the 1800s, the population in Maine had plummeted.

Read More Show Less
Rescue workers dig through the rubble following a gas explosion in Baltimore, Maryland on Aug. 10, 2020. J. Countess / Getty Images

A "major" natural gas explosion killed two people and seriously injured at least seven in Baltimore, Maryland Monday morning.

Read More Show Less
The recalled list includes red, yellow, white and sweet yellow onions, which may be tainted with salmonella. Pxhere

Nearly 900 people across the U.S. and Canada have been sickened by salmonella linked to onions distributed by Thomson International, the The New York Times reported.

Read More Show Less
Methane flares at a fracking site near a home in Colorado on Oct. 25, 2014. WildEarth Guardians / Flickr

In the coming days, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to use its power to roll back yet another Obama-era environmental protection meant to curb air pollution and slow the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less
Researchers on the ICESCAPE mission, funded by NASA, examine melt ponds and their surrounding ice in 2011 to see how changing conditions in the Arctic affect the biological and chemical makeup of the ocean. NASA / Flickr

By Alex Kirby

The temperature of the Arctic matters to the entire world: it helps to keep the global climate fairly cool. Scientists now say that by 2035 there could be an end to Arctic sea ice.

Read More Show Less
President Vladimir Putin is seen enjoying the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

Russia's Health Ministry has given regulatory approval for the world's first COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A John Deere agricultural tractor sits under a collapsed building following a derecho storm on Aug. 10, 2020 near Franklin Grove, Illinois. Daniel Acker / Getty Images

A powerful series of thunderstorms roared across the Midwest on Monday, downing trees, damaging structures and knocking out power to more than a million people.

Read More Show Less