Pulling Together

First Nations in BC Pull Together to stop Kinder Morgan.


Slaying the Dragon

As noted in the Seattle Times and reported in the Vancouver Sun,

The British Columbia provincial government is taking legal and administrative action to stop the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.  At issue is inadequate consultation by developer Kinder Morgan with First Nations. In Washington, the Tulalip Tribes, Suquamish tribe, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community and Lummi Nation have joined to fight the project.


As noted in the Vancouver Observer, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau’s pipeline panel released a report last Thursday on community concerns regarding the Kinder Morgan proposal to triple Tar Sands bitumen flowing from Alberta to the Burnaby, British Columbia shipping terminal in Greater Vancouver. Of particular interest is the fact that

former Prime Minister Stephen Harper removed pipeline reviews from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and handed it to the industry-dominated National Energy Board. This government “regulator” looked more like a Calgary oil company boardroom, even requiring its members to reside in the tar sands capital.

The author goes on to note that, “In the 2015 federal election, candidate Trudeau promised to overhaul the NEB and restart the review for the Kinder Morgan pipeline project. After the election, Prime Minister Trudeau apparently forgot his campaign promise. In January, the NEB hearings continued despite growing protests.”

Sensing that the NEB decision has already been made, and that the oil-industry-dominated NEB couldn’t care less about the impacts on British Columbia and the Salish Sea, Greenpeace–as reported in the Vancouver Sunannounced a Nov. 12 “workshop” in Vancouver to train pipeline opponents in methods of civil disobedience.

Tactics being presented include “peaceful sit-ins in offices, blockades to prevent bulldozers from reaching a construction site, art installations in the pipeline right-of-ways,” said spokesman Keith Stewart.

Alliance vs Tar Sands

The First Nations Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion–signed by 50 Indigenous nations in Vancouver and Quebec on September 22–opposes TransCanada, Kinder Morgan, and Enbridge pipeline projects in their traditional territories. As reported in the National Observer, the treaty builds on “major First Nations victories” against the Northern Gateway project and Keystone XL pipeline.

Omitted in the article, however, is any mention of the fact that the deciding factor of Obama’s rejection of Keystone XL is that it pitted Canadian Alberta Tar Sands oil against US-produced Bakken crude, made possible by his approval of fracking on millions of acres in North Dakota. The resulting glut of oil, which overwhelmed Gulf Coast storage capacity, made it possible for Obama’s advisor Warren Buffett to corner the oil-by-rail market now threatening the Pacific Coast of Northwest Washington and Southwest British Columbia.