November 10, 2011 17:37 ET

President Obama's Keystone Decision Means Enbridge Gateway Pipeline Review Must Include Climate Change Impacts

With a Short Window to Act on Climate Change, any Credible Oil Pipeline Review Process Includes Climate Impacts

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Nov. 10, 2011) - Environmental and citizen groups in British Columbia say the federal government review process of the proposed Enbridge Gateway pipeline must include tar sands expansion and climate change impacts.

The groups are reacting to a decision by the State Department and President Obama to delay the proposed Keystone pipeline to include a new review of alternative routes and wider environmental impacts, including climate change.

"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."

A federal joint review panel is scheduled to begin hearing citizen testimony on Enbridge's proposed Gateway pipeline in January of 2012.

"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."

Ecojustice, on behalf of ForestEthics, Living Oceans Society and Raincoast, have filed a motion to consider the up-stream impacts of tar sands from the Northern Gateway pipeline, as well as climate change impacts. The motion was filed on October 10th and the groups are still awaiting a response, despite National Energy Board rules to respond to motions within 7 days.

"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," says Skuce. "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."

Contact Information

  • ForestEthics
    Nikki Skuce
    Senior Energy Campaigner

    Friends of Wild Salmon
    Jennifer Rice