Trudeau Buys Out TransMountain Tar Sands Pipeline Project
The bailout of the dirty tar sands oil pipeline is a huge misstep for the Canadian government that would reverse the country’s climate leadership.
Backtracking on his climate action promises, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a plan today for the Canadian government to buy the existing TransMountain tar sands pipeline—which was shut down this past weekend after a spill—and the controversial expansion project from the pipeline’s owner, Kinder Morgan.
“The TransMountain tar sands pipeline was a bad idea from the get-go,” says Anthony Swift, director of NRDC’s Canada program, “but this federal buyout is a breathtaking misstep by Trudeau’s government. Canada’s purchase of a tar sands pipeline and expansion project eviscerates any claim it has to climate leadership at a key moment—doubling down on the world’s dirtiest oil rather than closing the gap on the country’s Paris climate commitments.”
The expansion project would carry 550,000 additional barrels per day of tar sands oil from Alberta to British Columbia, threatening waterways and wildlife in Canada and the United States. Kinder Morgan had paused work on the expansion last month after mounting pushback from indigenous communities and staunch opposition from British Columbia.
The expansion threatens the Pacific Coast as well as the waters of Washington, Oregon, and California—home to endangered marine life, like orcas. NRDC and a coalition of Canadian groups had previously warned Kinder Morgan that the pipeline could lead to an Endangered Species Act lawsuit.
Trudeau’s move is a mistake for which “Canadians and the world will be stuck with the bill for generations to come,” says Swift.