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.