NRDC Join NRDC / Donate
Nature's Voice
In This Issue
Success Stories
Mercury Controls at Last
Campaign Update
A Boom in Fracking Threatens Communities Across America
Feature Stories
Big Oil Won't Let the Tar Sands Pipeline Die
NRDC, Redford Challenge Shell
Don't Frack the Catskills!
One Woman, Fighting for Justice, Turns Tragedy into Inspiration
Oil Companies Hijack Canadian Energy Decisions
NRDC Sues to Protect Whales from New Sonar Deployment
In The News
Cleaner Future for Cars
Online Features
Green Burials
This Green Life's Nature Map: Share Your Favorite Places!
Photo of a Spirit Bear, British Columbia, Canada
Feature Story
Switchboard: Oil Companies Hijack Canadian Energy Decisions

The following entry first appeared online at: www.switchboard.nrdc.org.

When it comes to the Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline and tanker traffic, the Canadian federal government has been acting like a mouthpiece for Big Oil -- referring to pipeline opponents like NRDC as "radicals" and "foreigners" -- instead of listening respectfully to the people of British Columbia who will pay the highest price if there are oil spills from this project. Proposed by energy giant Enbridge, the pipeline would carry tar sands oil west from Alberta across British Columbia for export to Asia and California. It would drive more destruction of the boreal forest, accelerate global warming and threaten British Columbia's Spirit Bear Coast with disastrous oil spills. A government Joint Review Panel started public meetings in January on the proposal in Kitamaat Village -- the terminus of the pipeline, where millions of barrels of tar sands oil would be loaded onto some 225 supertankers every year. The native people of some 130 First Nations are strongly opposed to the pipeline, and NRDC is proud they have welcomed us to work with them in their cause.

Gerald Amos, former chief of the Haisla Nation and resident of Kitamaat Village, says: "The government's desperate attempt to change the minds and hearts of the hundreds of thousands of people who oppose this project is driven by greed and desperation. The foreign interest groups Canadians should really be concerned about are the Chinese oil companies investing billions in the tar sands and the multi-national oil companies, like Shell and British Petroleum, that are investing $200 million trying to sell Canadians on this astoundingly stupid idea."

Early last year, Enbridge announced that Sinopec (a state-owned Chinese oil company) had provided it with $10 million to help push Northern Gateway through the regulatory process and conduct public relations. Recently Enbridge finally revealed a handful of other formerly secret backers -- including a subsidiary of the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, which provided another $10 million. It seems that multinational oil companies are hijacking Canadians' ability to decide their own energy future. But the fact that thousands of Canadians have registered to speak at public meetings shows that caring for our planet is hardly "foreign" or "radical." It's time for the Canadian government to let the Canadian people, not the oil giants, drive the decisions on the Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline and tanker proposal.

The native people of some 130 First Nations are strongly opposed to the pipeline, and NRDC is proud they have welcomed us to work with them in their cause.


Contents | About Nature’s Voice | Contact Us
© Natural Resources Defense Council
Photo Credit: © Charlie Russell