Campaign promises often fall by the wayside once politicians make it to office, but not for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Less than a month after his election, Canada’s head of state has put his pledge to ban oil tanker traffic into motion.
In a letter published Friday, Trudeau asked his Minister of Transportation to “formalize a moratorium on crude oil tanker traffic on British Columbia’s North Coast,” the Calgary Herald reports.
Such a ban could potentially shut down the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline, in which crude oil from Alberta would be piped up to north to British Columbia and then shipped overseas. A coalition of environmental groups and aboriginal advocates applauded Trudeau’s decision.
“This ban ends the dangerous Northern Gateway pipeline proposal,” said Karen Mahon, advocacy director for environmental group ForestEthics. “Without tankers, crude oil has no place to go, and that means no pipelines, no oil trains moving tar sands to the northern B.C. coast.”
The $6.5 billion project from storage and transportation company Enbridge Inc. was approved in 2014 under 209 conditions. Enbridge spokesperson Ivan Giesbrecht said the company would add “any improvements deemed necessary” to ship the products and that the company looks forward to discussing it further with Trudeau and his team. Enbridge officials estimate that the project would raise Canada’s gross domestic product by $300 million over 30 years.
Much like opponents of the recently squashed Keystone XL pipeline, environmentalists fear potential spills from Northern Gateway could cause catastrophic damage and that the project would increase extraction from the oil sands, thereby fueling climate change.
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Original article from TakePart