Just when you thought Enbridge was going to be sunk forever, the company is making another attempt to build their outrageously unpopular pipeline. Last week, Enbridge asked the National Energy Board (NEB) for a three year extension to try to generate more support for the project.
Clearly, we need to keep fighting to keep dirty oil out of BC’s forests and waters. Though opposition by citizens, First Nations, and environmental groups is unwavering, our leaders seem to have lost the plot. The NEB is considering the request and, as part of this consideration, they are inviting the public to make comments on Enbridge’s proposal.
We need you to craft a quick, impactful letter today. Then, let us know that you’ve sent your letter by commenting on this post, below.
According to West Coast Environmental Law, “this public comment period is an opportunity to influence a “live or die” decision for Northern Gateway. It is also an opportunity to hold the federal government to account by requiring that the NEB, and if necessary the federal Cabinet, confront the inconsistency between an extension for Northern Gateway and the federal government’s commitment to formalize an oil tanker ban on BC’s north coast.”
You’ve worked too hard, and come too far, to give up the fight against Enbridge.
We each have until June 27, 2016 to send in our thoughts via mail or fax. (Technically you can submit electronically, but they will not consider your feedback until they receive a paper copy as well.)
Help us ensure First Nations rights are protected and keep tar sands oil out of the Great Bear Rainforest.
What To Write
The NEB will not accept form letters. Choose from the following key points, changing the language and adding your personal perspective or expertise.
1. State that you oppose the NEB granting an extension:
I am writing today to voice my opposition to granting the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project’s sunset clauses extension request.
2. Urge the NEB to consider the fact that the federal government is implementing a tanker ban:
In mandate letters issued by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Hon. Minister of Transportation, Marc Garneau and former Hon. Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Hunter Tootoo, as well as several statements by the Prime Minister, his office, and Hon. Ministers Garneau, McKenna, and Tootoo, it is clear that a legislated tanker ban is slated for the B.C.’s north coast. Implementation of the Prime Minister’s direction would prevent Northern Gateway from proceeding because the proposal hinges on introducing extensive crude oil tanker traffic to BC’s north coast.
The fact that the Government of Canada intends to formalize an oil tanker ban on B.C.’s north coast — and that it does so with the support of First Nations, municipalities, organizations and citizens — is an important factor that I urge the NEB to consider in deciding Enbridge Northern Gateway’s extension request.
Additional Points You Can Make
Keep in mind that the NEB only wants to hear “new information”, i.e., those economic, political, social, and other developments that have happened since the NEB project hearings finished in June 2013. Here is some info to consider if you would like to submit a longer response.
- In November 2013, contrary to information presented to the NEB in 2013, new scientific reports confirmed the propensity of diluted bitumen to sink or submerge in coastal zones with suspended sediment, thereby potentially rendering the mitigation measures for the cleanup and recovery of sunken and submerged diluted bitumen in the coastal environment economically and technically impossible. (Click here to learn more.)
- A ground-breaking study (published February 2016), reveals noise from ships (including tankers) extends into the high frequencies used by killer whales for echolocation, potentially masking echolocation clicks that are used for foraging and navigation. (Click here to read the study.) If tankers are authorized to ply the the Great Bear Sea, even before a shipstrike or oil spill, they could make it difficult for the threatened killer whale populations that reside there to hunt for food, care for their young, and maintain their complex social bonds.
- In April 2015, Prime Minister Trudeau committed to reducing Canada’s greenhouse-gas emissions by 30 per cent by 2030. Currently, Canada is nowhere near that target – in fact, emissions continue to rise – and if Canada is going to deliver on this commitment the NEB must consider the climate impacts of the Northern Gateway project.
- In a letter dated May 5, 2016, Northern Gateway concedes the economic conditions justifying the need for the tanker and pipeline project have changed since the time of the hearings, including noting that oil prices have dropped sharply.
Please note: form letters will NOT be accepted, so if you are going through the trouble of writing and mailing a letter, please refrain from copying and pasting the above.
Where To Send Your Letter
Please send your paper letters to:
Secretary to the Board
National Energy Board
517 Tenth Avenue S.W.
Calgary, Alberta T2R 0A8
You can send faxes to:
You’ve marched, you’ve signed pledges, you’ve raised a whopping $600k to end Enbridge. We are incredibly proud to call you supporters. Your tireless efforts are changing the game in B.C., and Canada, ensuring that we protect what is precious for future generations. Let us know that you’ve sent your letter by commenting on this post, below. Thank you for standing together at this critical time.