Halting a Pipeline in its Tracks

Halting a Pipeline in its Tracks

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project was introduced to triple capacity to carry tar sands oil to the Pacific coast. It is a potentially disastrous project that threatens wildlife, environment and Tribal nations.

The pipeline expansion increases the risk of an oil spill in a critical killer whale habitat, posing a catastrophic threat to marine species and ecology. Further, more than 8 million people—including 29 tribes and First nations—would be seriously impacted by an expanded pipeline.

Despite the public health and environmental risks, the Canadian government bought the pipeline from oil giant Kinder Morgan in May 2018 in an attempt to guarantee its construction.

However, this destructive pipeline’s construction is far from guaranteed.

A Canadian federal appeals court dealt a massive blow to this pipeline, putting the project in legal jeopardy. The court ruled that the consultation with Indigenous peoples and environmental review was inadequate, nullifying the project’s license and sending the project back to the drawing board.

Organizations like Friends of the Earth US—and our international partners at Friends of the Earth Canada—called attention to this project’s dangerous consequences since it was first announced. We worked with Friends of the Earth Canada and coalition partners to lift news of this pipeline up and highlight the massive public health and environmental threats this pipeline would bring about.

The Canadian court’s decision is a victory for people and the planet—yet it may not be the end of the project.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has already responded to the decision, saying he is looking at all options to get Trans Mountain back on track. He is even considering appealing the court ruling—showing just how adamant he is about this pet project. 

This isn’t the first rut in the road for this pipeline, but it may be one of the biggest yet. We must keep up the pressure to ensure the Trans Mountain project remains a pipe dream, and not a reality.