Developing Canada’s tar sands is not our vision for a clean energy future—it’s one of the dirtiest fossil fuel projects on the planet. Let alone the destruction to the environment caused by Alberta’s open mining tar sands pits, we won’t stand for transporting the highly corrosive stuff to be refined into oil any which way the industry tries to paint it: by rail, by pipeline or by tanker.
So, as American energy company Kinder Morgan is proposing to nearly triple the capacity of its Trans Mountain pipeline, we’re standing together and saying ‘no’ with concerned citizens in North America and beyond. Their existing Trans Mountain pipeline already spans 1,150 kilometres (714 miles) from Alberta’s tar sands to British Columbia’s stunning, fragile coast.
It’s not the first or only pipeline bringing tar sands gunk to Canada’s West Coast. The implications of tripling Kinder Morgan’s tar sands pipeline capacity are just as nasty as other pipeline proposals, like Enbridge’s Northern Gateway, or Trans Canada’s Keystone XL. Here’s why:
1. It would increase the barrels per day it ships from 300,000 to 890,000 in 2017 (1). By nearly tripling the capacity of Trans Mountain, the demand to keep the pipelines full would mean that more tar sands would be mined, and more carbon dioxide would be spewed into our climate.
2. It would increase oil tanker traffic on North America’s West Coast to more than 400 giant vessels per year. Exxon Valdez? BP’s gulf spill? You don’t have to do a whole lot of research to see that oil tanker spills are expensive, if not impossible, to clean up. And tar sands is the worst on both accounts. Our economy, our tourism, our marine life, our wild and beautiful coast…there’s simply too much at stake. Learn more and track those tankers at http://tarsandssos.org
3. Its pipelines and tankers won’t be carrying conventional oil. Tar sands isn’t oil. It’s a corrosive, thick substance injected with chemicals to make it just-liquid-enough to pump through a pipeline. This makes spills especially costly and damaging. Just think of the community of Kalamazoo, Michigan, the site of the US’s costliest onshore pipeline disaster, to remember the lasting devastation that tar sands can have.
4. Kinder Morgan doesn’t have a good track record (2):