Tell Trudeau to choose: pipelines or the planet?

Prime Minister Trudeau keeps telling us that building the Trans Mountain pipeline goes hand-in-hand with tackling the climate crisis. We know this isn’t true.

Now, two government agencies have said the exact same thing. The Canada Energy Regulator and the Parliamentary Budget Officer have made it clear that Trudeau has to choose between building Trans Mountain and confronting the climate emergency. It’s past time that Trudeau was honest: does he want to build a pipeline or tackle the climate crisis? He simply can’t do both.

Tell Prime Minister Trudeau to choose people and the planet over pipelines.

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Photo Credit: Imran Babur

Why take action now? 

On Tuesday December 8th, Canada’s Parliamentary Budget Officer published an update on the financial and economic status of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. The new report makes it clear that strong climate policies will make TMX unprofitable. As the PBO put it, “if policy action on climate change continues to become more stringent, it is possible for the Trans Mountain assets to have a negative net present value.” It’s clearer than ever: Trudeau can either keep funding TMX or tackle the climate crisis. He simply can’t do both.

About Trans Mountain

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is a new fossil fuel pipeline that would carry tar sands from Alberta to just outside of Vancouver, BC. Originally owned by Texas oil giant Kinder Morgan, the Government of Canada bailed the project out in 2018 when Kinder Morgan threatened to walk away, and we bought it for $5.4 billion.

Then, in early 2020, the Government released updated costs for the project. Now at nearly $13 billion and climbing, public support for the pipeline dropped as the public was told that we would need to foot this growing bill. This was all before COVID-19 hit, which no doubt has driven the cost of the project even higher.

Before Justin Trudeau bought the Trans Mountain pipeline, the project was such a bad bet that Texas oil giant Kinder Morgan walked away from the project. Here’s why:

  • Shaky Economics: Trans Mountain requires ongoing tar sands expansion to make sense, and that requires a high price of oil. Before the pandemic hit, and the price of oil collapsed, the economics for Trans Mountain didn’t make sense. They make even less sense now. Read More. 
  • Local Opposition: There has long been a large and loud opposition to Trans Mountain all along the route, where concerns of an oil spill are top of mind. The existing pipeline that this expansion is being built atop has – by the companies own reporting – leaked more than 80 times, as recently as June 2020. Read More.
  • Climate Change: The Trans Mountain pipeline will create millions of tonnes of carbon emissions, making it impossible for Canada to do it’s part in tackling the global climate crisis. Despite this, their own review of the project refused to consider the complete climate impact of the project. Thanks to all this, the pipeline faces opposition all across Canada, and the world. Read More. 
  • Indigenous Rights: Indigenous communities all along the Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker routes have raised major issues with the construction of the pipeline since it was first proposed. These groups have challenged the project in court, and on the land, with opposition continuing to grow. Read More.