Trudeau Oil Spill Response Announcement Signals Government Preparing to Approve Pipeline
by Stand.earthNovember 7, 2016
Vancouver, BC - Today’s announcement by the Prime Minister of the Coastal Protection Plan is the strongest signal yet that the Liberal Government is trying to create a context that would justify their approval of the Kinder Morgan pipeline. The Trudeau Cabinet has until December 16th to decide whether or not to issue the permits required to build the project.
“If this government is serious about protecting the southern resident orcas they must wait for a killer whale recovery strategy before making a decision on Kinder Morgan”, said Karen Mahon, National Director of Stand.earth
Today’s announcement of new funding for oil spill response, the creation of an updated orca habitat protection plan, greater First Nations involvement in spill response and a study into the cumulative impacts of shipping traffic are necessary steps but fall well short of justifying a 700% increase in oil tanker traffic on the west coast.
“It is clear from the ongoing disaster in Bella Bella that we need more spill response resources here on the west coast to deal with our current level of shipping traffic. Unfortunately, nothing in today’s announcement will prepare us for spill caused by one of Kinder Morgan’s oil tankers,” said Sven Biggs, Energy and Climate Campaigner with Stand.earth.
“The science is clear that the oil these tankers are carrying, tar sands crude, sinks in sea water making it impossible to clean up no matter how much you spend on spill preparedness.”
The leading science on tar sands crude, also known as diluted bitumen, spill clean up is the National Academy of Sciences study titled Spills of Diluted Bitumen from Pipelines: A Comparative Study of Environmental Fate, Effects, and Response. That study found that diluted bitumen can and will sink when spilled in water, increasing the impacts associated with a spill.
Furthermore, the study concluded that there is no technique or equipment available to effectively clean up heavy oils that have submerged and mixed into the water column, or settled on the bottom of fresh- or salt-water bodies.
For Immediate Release
Stand.earth is an environmental organization that challenges corporations and governments to treat people and the environment with respect. Formerly ForestEthics, Stand has helped keep 2 trillion barrels of oil in the ground, placed 6.4 million hectares of forest into ecosystem-based management, and shifted over $100 billion of corporate purchasing into more sustainable sources.