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Any Trans Mountain expansion approval should consider climate impact: environmental group

Last Updated Jan 21, 2019 at 6:24 pm PDT

Summary

Stand.earth filing legal motion in effort to have NEB do a review of climate impacts of Trans Mountain project

Environmental group says growth in climate pollution from oil, gas industries cancelling out efforts made by individuals

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The Trans Mountain expansion’s climate impacts must be considered as part of any approval process for that project. That’s the argument from environmentalists, ahead of a deadline for intervenors to submit their arguments as part of the reconsideration process for the project.

While the project is subject to environmental and marine impact assessments, Tzeporah Berman with Stand.earth says there’s no consideration of the project’s climate impact.

“The federal government and the National Energy Board has never done a review of the climate impacts of the Trans Mountain pipeline,” she argued. “It’s strange, considering they did require the Energy East pipeline to be reviewed on climate impacts. And in fact, this was a promise that the Trudeau government made during the last election.”

RELATED: Alberta spending millions to promote Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion

“We are filing a legal motion today to ensure that the NEB does do a review of climate impacts of the Trans Mountain pipeline, just like the government applied to Energy East,” she added.

Trans Mountain points out the feds have assessed greenhouse gas emissions for upstream activities related to this project. However, these environmentalists are calling for all emissions related to this project to be considered.

Berman accuses the government of being “irresponsible.”

“The oil and gas sector is the fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. The government of Alberta and other industry backers have said over and over again that they need the Trans Mountain pipline to continue to expand the oilsands. Expanding the oilsands at this moment in history would lead to higher emissions, at a time when Canada has committed to reduce emissions.”

She believes the growth in climate pollution from the oil and gas industries are cancelling out efforts made by individual Canadians.

“Let’s just have an open and transparent process where we look at the climate impacts, look at the changes that we’ve seen in the economy — and that we need to see, in order to have a safe climate. I think everybody knows what’s happening on climate change. We’re all experiencing the increase in fires and floods and dramatic, extreme weather,” Berman said.

“Every international study that we’ve filed today with the NEB shows that if we’re going to have a safe climate … we can’t be building the Trans Mountain pipeline.”

The National Energy Board will submit its final report to the feds a month from now, as part of this reconsideration process.

– With files from Dean Recksiedler and Hana Mae Nassar

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include a response from Trans Mountain