Canada’s Approval for Trans Mountain pipeline expansion: Economic Boom Or Environmental Disaster?

The Liberal government’s recent approval of Kinder Morgan’s Trans mountain pipeline expansion is significant step backwards from climate change. Though it has gained much praise from various business and energy groups, it has sparked much outrage amongst climate campaigners, aboriginal groups and some opposition parties.

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The proposed $6.8 billion Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project would run from Edmonton to Burrard Inlet in Metro Vancouver. The proposed pipeline would carry triple the capacity of an estimated of 890,000 barrels of oil in a day in comparison to 300,000 barrels of oil currently being shipped in an existing pipeline.

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Don’t get me wrong, I am a very proud Liberal. However, the approval of this controversial pipeline is definitely incompatible with Prime Minister Trudeau’s initial climate change commitments. Indeed, the building of this pipeline and the maintenance of it would create millions of jobs. However, you are looking at detrimental effects to the environment and serious changes to various ecosystems that are in close proximity to the proposed pipeline project. Considering the existing rates at which climate change is occurring, the approval of this pipeline would only further accelerate these rates. “According to Environment and Climate Change Canada’s own numbers, this means an additional 23 to 28 MT of carbon pollution from the tar sands each year – the equivalent of putting 5.9 million cars on Canada’s roads.” (Patrick DeRochie,Environment Defence). In addition, environmentalists are extremely concerned over increased pollution that would arise from the construction of the pipeline and could potentially put Salish Sea’s resident orca population at increased risk of extinction.

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