100 groups call on Trudeau to stop pipeline reviews before Paris climate talks - Fixing the process isn't enough

TORONTO, Nov. 12, 2015 /CNW/ - A broad cross-section of 100 environmental, business and community interests, including many participants in the current National Energy Board (NEB) reviews, are asking Prime Minister Trudeau, before heading to Paris, to keep his promise and stop the costly, broken pipeline reviews, including Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain and TransCanada's Energy East proposals.

"Stopping the pipeline reviews is one of Prime Minister Trudeau's promises that he can fulfill alone, without legal input, and would represent a clear act of climate leadership one month before Paris," said Keith Stewart of Greenpeace. "A failure to assess greenhouse gas emissions for tar sands pipelines would bring great doubts on Trudeau's commitment to fight climate change."

As presented in a letter sent today, groups outline several fundamental flaws in the NEB process that need to be fixed. They include failure to properly engage and consult with First Nations governments affected by pipeline proposals and failure to include an assessment of upstream and downstream impacts or greenhouse gas emissions.

Signatories are asking the prime minister to first stop, then fix the review process so that it enables meaningful and ongoing public participation, assesses the climate impacts of each proposal, and ensures the ability of Indigenous Peoples to exercise their decision making authority according to their respective laws and governance systems. Only then can the review of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain and TransCanada's Energy East pipelines be restarted.

"It makes sense to put the reviews of Kinder Morgan and Energy East on hold because continuing any farther along without a climate test, in a process that would be revised and restarted at some point, is a waste of time and taxpayer money," said Christianne Wilhelmson, Executive Director, Georgia Strait Alliance, an intervenor.

Wilhelmson added for the Kinder Morgan review, hundreds of intervenors are pouring a great deal of time and resources into preparing their final written arguments, due January 12th, while Kinder Morgan is set to give its final argument on December 17th. Meanwhile, TransCanada is set to submit its final Energy East proposal to the NEB in the fourth quarter of this year, after which point hearings would start.

"With Trudeau explicitly promising to stop the Kinder Morgan process, it only follows that he must do the same for Energy East given they are being reviewed under the same flawed process," said Adam Scott of Environmental Defence.

The letter also points out that fixing the pipeline review process is an opportunity to undo the damage done to Canada's environmental laws, including CEAA, the NEB Act, the Fisheries Act and Navigable Waters Protection Act.

For a copy of the letter and a complete list of signatories please visit: http://georgiastrait.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Joint-KM_EE-letter-to-PM-Trudeau.pdf

SOURCE Environmental Defence

For further information: Keith Stewart, Head of Energy Campaign Greenpeace Canada (416) 659-0294; Christianne Wilhelmson, Executive Director, Georgia Strait Alliance (604) 862-7579; Tim Ehlich, Environmental Defence, (416) 323-9521, ext. 223, (647) 468-3641; Larissa Stendie, Sierra Club BC, (250) 891-8245


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