Tsleil-Waututh Nation Dismayed by Latest Kinder Morgan Spill, Harper Government Announcement

Nation says yesterday’s announcement by federal government misses the point

NORTH VANCOUVER, BC, June 27, 2013 – Tsleil-Waututh Nation is dismayed, but not surprised, by the news today of a second oil spill in as many weeks on Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline.

“Another day, another spill,” says Chief Maureen Thomas, Tsleil-Waututh Nation. “Every time there is a leak from a pipeline, no matter how large, it is damaging to the environment.  Kinder Morgan says it’s using the latest and best technology. But the truth is they can’t eliminate the risk. We are reminded of that every time a spill occurs, which is happening with alarming frequency.”

Yesterday, the Harper government announced new financial requirements for pipeline companies in the event of a spill. The Nation says the announcement missed the point.

“What the Harper government doesn’t seem to realize is that an oil spill cannot be fixed with money. Once the damage is done, the lands and waters are forever changed,” says Chief Thomas. “There is no amount of money or insurance that is worth the incredible risk posed by pipelines and oil tankers. Our coast is priceless.”

Tsleil-Waututh Nation is adamantly opposed to Kinder Morgan’s proposal to build a new pipeline to bring crude oil/bitumen to foreign markets through Burrard Inlet and the Salish Sea. The pipeline terminates in Tsleil-Waututh territory.

“While placing stricter regulations and financial requirements on existing pipeline operators is a good thing, new pipeline infrastructure and increased tanker traffic does nothing but increase the risk to our waters,” says Carleen Thomas, Project Manager, Sacred Trust Initiative, Tsleil-Waututh Nation. “That is why we have to stand up to protect our lands and waters, and say “no” to Kinder Morgan’s pipeline proposal.”

Kinder Morgan’s pipeline proposal would see the transport of crude oil expanded from its present level of approximately 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000 barrels per day. The Nation has experienced the results of crude oil handling and refining on Burrard Inlet for a number of decades. The Nation is expecting government-to-government consultation on this project.

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