ForestEthics Canada

January 18, 2012 15:36 ET

Prime Minister Harper Should Follow President Obama's Lead and Put the Interests of Canadians Above the Interests of the Foreign Oil Industry

Why should Canadians and our wild salmon be exposed to the same tar sands pipeline risks that the U.S. President has rejected for his own people?

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Jan. 18, 2012) - The following is a statement by Nikki Skuce, Senior Energy campaigner with ForestEthics, based in Smithers, B.C., regarding the Obama administration's pending rejection of the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline and what it means for the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline.

"Canada's good friend and neighbour to the South, has woken up to the reality that First Nations and British Columbians have known for a long time: tar sands oil pipelines represent an unacceptable risk to our health and safety, and the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline is not in Canada's national interest."

Based on Enbridge's own spill safety record, the Northern Gateway pipeline could be expected to spill more than 1000 barrels of oil per year. That's enough oil to do 42,000 oil changes - an unacceptable risk to freshwater and wild salmon runs.

"When citizens stood up against Keystone XL, the President of the United States listened. When citizens stood up against an even riskier pipeline in British Columbia, our government labeled us 'radicals' and tried to shut down the opposition," continued Skuce.

"The truth will triumph in British Columbia over Mr. Harper and Enbridge's bullying tactics and disinformation, including exaggerated claims about jobs and pipeline capacity shortages. Citizens are mobilized against this pipeline like never before.

"Rather than bringing Canada economic security, the Enbridge pipeline would lock us into a transportation agreement, ferrying dirty tar sands oil by tanker through Canada's pristine coastal waters, for export to the Chinese government, one of the world's worst abusers of human rights."

This decision is a major victory for our campaign against risky tar sands pipelines and unregulated tar sands expansion.

Fortune 500 companies, national governments, First Nations and Canadians in general are coming together with one voice and their message is simple: the costs of tar sands oil are too high.

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