Another Big Loss for Tar Sands: British Columbia Rejects Northern Gateway
In a major victory for conservationists, the British Columbia government has rejected the proposed Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline. While the rejection isn’t necessarily the end of the road for the proposal, it puts up a huge new obstacle to its completion.
“Given the tar sands industry’s history of broken promises and disastrous spills, British Columbia has made the right call,” says Kassie Rohrbach, manager of the National Wildlife Federation’s campaign to stop dirty fuels. “British Columbia residents don’t want to take on the risks of toxic tar sands spills any more than American landowners from Montana to Nebraska to Texas want to have the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline running through their backyards.”
Why did British Columbia say no in its submission to the Canadian government? The tar sands industry failed to answer questions about the route and the impact of possible spills on clean water and the communities and wildlife that depend on them:
In a statement, Environment Minster Terry Lake said the submission follows careful study of the project proposal.
“British Columbia thoroughly reviewed all of the evidence and submissions made to the panel and asked substantive questions about the project including its route, spill response capacity and financial structure to handle any incidents,” Lake said in a news release.
“Our questions were not satisfactorily answered during these hearings,” he added.
“Today’s decision shows more clearly than ever that, contrary to the State Department’s deeply flawed report, the tar sands industry desperately needs Keystone XL to get its polluting product to the international market,” Kassie adds. “President Obama can keep his promise to protect our climate for this and future generations by rejecting the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.”