Canadian Greens oppose Keystone Pipeline

As the high profile Keystone Pipeline controversy shifts from  Washington to Ottawa, the Green Party of Canada stands in solidarity with  the many courageous people who have sought to alert North Americans to the  climate dangers involved from further industrial expansion of the Alberta oil sands.   The  proposed multi-billion dollar pipeline would transport bitumen from the oil  sands south to refineries in Illinois and  Oklahoma and  from there to the US Gulf Coast.  The pipeline would cross the Ogallala Aquifer,  water source for many millions in the US, and the ecologically sensitive Sand Hills  of Nebraska.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May commented,  “Projects like the  Keystone Pipeline underscore the consequences of the unsustainable expansion of  the Alberta oil sands.  Green Party policy would be to freeze any further  expansion of the oil sands.

Why not leave the additional oil sands supply in the ground for  future generations of Albertans to benefit from – especially in a world when oil  will become much scarcer and will be needed for industrial applications other  than fuel.  Or even if eventually used as fuel it could be extracted and burnt  by a much cleaner method than presently available.”

Green Party International Affairs Critic Eric Walton  added  “We need  to stop exacerbating the boom bust cycles and instead focus on building a  responsible and secure energy economy that respects the rights of indigenous  people and remembers the needs of future generations.  The Canadian governments  failure to respond to the Rapid Climate Change crisis is continuing to undermine  Canada’s international reputation and diplomatic credibility.”

Thousands have been rallying in Washington, D.C. for the past two  weeks against building the Keystone Pipeline to further exploit the oil sands in  what is being called a historic demonstration.  Over twelve hundred people have  been arrested, including many celebrities and some Canadians, in a bid to draw  public attention to the issue.  Contribution to climate change, destruction of  habitat, contamination of indigenous lands and health impacts on indigenous  people living downstream from the oil sands, as well as the risk of pipeline  leaks have all been cited as obvious reasons for opposing the  project.

A Canadian rally is planned for September 26th in  Ottawa.