Train loads of pipeline for the Trans Mountain project. A major insurance underwriter has just backed out of the project (Kyle Baks-CBC)

Controversial Trans Mountain pipeline decision today

It’s been a rough ride for a multi-billion dollar oil pipeline project in western Canada.

The Trans-Mountain pipeline is essentially the addition of a second pipeline to an existing older line stretching from Alberta’s oil sands area over the Rocky Mountains across British Columbia to a terminal on the Pacific coast.

However, land use and development, ie expanded cities, farms, etc., has greatly changed in the decades since the first line was built. The environment, of little concern for the original line decades ago, have become a major issue for many Canadians as has input from Indigenous groups, some of which agree to the pipeline, while others disagree.

The new line follows the existing one closely, but in the several decades since much development has taken place along the way. Greater concern for the environment and Indigenous rights have also highlighted strong objections and court challenges to the project (Scott Galley CBC)

The twinning project, originally approved, was halted by a court challenge over objections that it did not adequately consider environmental issues such as the greatly increased tanker traffic along the Pacific coast and its potential effect on marine life such as killer whales, and that Indigenous groups had not been adequately consulted.

Train loads of pipe already on the move

A new consultation was ordered after which the National Energy Board review decided again that the project was in the national interest and should proceed.

Tanker traffic is expected to increase by seven-fold through the challenging route from the terminal out to the Pacific, with concerns about increased underwater marine noise, collisions and possible oil spills. (Living Oceans)

A vote today by the Liberal cabinet is expected to “re-approve” the project.  Train loads of pipe had already been seen moving towards the construction site fuelling opinion the project would be approved

A decision is expected within hours on the massive oil pipeline project which would triple capacity and greatly increase tanker traffic approximately seven-fold, through the challenging  waters among the islands in the Strait of Georgia south of Vancouver Island.

The possible pipeline approval would come just a day after the Parliament voted to declare a “climate emergency”.

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