Submitted by Friends of the San Juans
Environmental and indigenous leaders from Washington state met with the Consulate General of Canada on Thursday, June 7 to reiterate their strong opposition to the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project in British Columbia and any increases in tar sands crude oil shipments by tanker, train, or pipeline in Washington state.
The meeting will be followed by a press conference with representatives from Tulalip Tribe, 350 Seattle, Friends of the San Juans, Sightline Institute, Stand.earth, Stand Up to Oil Coalition, and Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility.
At the press conference, representatives will discuss the recent Canadian federal government buy out of the Trans Mountain Pipeline — which includes the Puget Sound Pipeline spur that runs to four refineries in Washington state. Representatives will also address the climate and health impacts of tar sands, the oil spill risk from increased tanker traffic in the Salish Sea, and concerns over Canada’s climate plan.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee has spoken out against the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project over oil spill and tanker traffic concerns. Recently, 79 elected leaders (including 29 state legislators) who are part of the Safe Energy Leadership Alliance (SELA) sent a letter to B.C. Premier John Horgan to show solidarity with opposition to the project.
On May 29, 2018, the Canadian federal government announced it would buy out the existing Trans Mountain Pipeline and expansion project from Kinder Morgan Canada, spending $4.5 billion Canadian to purchase the existing infrastructure, also taking on an assumed $7.4 billion Canadian in construction costs, totaling nearly $12 billion Canadian.
The purchase includes the existing Puget Sound Pipeline spur, which splits from the existing Trans Mountain Pipeline east of Langley, B.C. and runs into Washington state to the BP and Phillips 66 refineries in Whatcom County and the Andeavor (formerly Tesoro) and Shell refineries in Skagit County.
Financial disclosure documents issued as part of Kinder Morgan Canada’s Initial Public Offering in 2017 indicate that as part of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project, the company has indicated the potential to more than double the potential throughput of the Puget Sound Pipeline, boosting its capacity from 240,000 to 500,000 barrels per day (bpd). The pipeline currently averages 191,000 bpd.
The potential doubling of the Puget Sound Pipeline was mentioned again in February 2018 in Kinder Morgan Canada’s annual U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing. This proposal comes despite ongoing U.S. resistance to the pipeline to prevent crude oil export, including land use updates in Whatcom County intended to prevent any increases in shipments of tar sands crude oil through the Puget Sound Pipeline spur, and a moratorium on permits for new fossil fuel infrastructure projects in effect in Whatcom County since August 2016.