A coalition of environmental groups led by ForestEthics says the fact the US State Department included climate change in its decision to reassess the Keystone XL pipeline means that Enbridge just do the same for the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline from Alberta to Kitimat.
Even before the Keystone decision, the environmentalists filed a motion with the Northern Gateway Joint Review that would compel the panel to consider the up-stream impacts of tar sands from the Northern Gateway pipeline, as well as climate change impacts.
The groups say they filed the motion with the Joint Review panel on October 10 and have not yet received a response, even though, according to the group, the NGJR panel should respond within seven days.
The State Department and the Obama administration’s decision to delay the Keystone XL pipeline sends a clear signal to Canadian decision makers,” says Nikki Skuce, Senior Energy campaigner with ForestEthics. “In the context of the climate change threat, credible pipeline review includes climate impacts…”
The Keystone decision came down to the concerns of thousands of American citizens,” said Jennifer Rice, Chair of The Friends of Wild Salmon. “Citizen concern is just as strong in Canada. We’ve had a record-breaking 4000 citizens sign-up to speak on the Gateway pipeline, and we hope Stephen Harper learns something from President Obama’s listening skills.”
ForestEthics spokesman Nikki Skuce said:
The Joint Review Panel has been reluctant to consider climate change and tar sands impacts in their assessment of Northern Gateway, yet Enbridge argues the need for this pipeline based on tar sands expansion… [President Barack] Obama’s decision sets a new North American standard for credible pipeline review. We hope the federal government does the right thing for Canadians and the planet, by including climate and tar sands impacts in their review process.