Enbridge/Northern Gateway Pipeline, Canada


The Northern Gateway pipeline aims to link the oilsands region of Alberta to a shipping terminal in Kitimat, on the northwest coast of B.C., opening the door for more Canadian oil exports to be sent across the Pacific Ocean to Asia.

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Basic Data
NameEnbridge/Northern Gateway Pipeline, Canada
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Climate change related conflicts (glaciers and small islands)
Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Specific Commodities
Crude oil
Project Details and Actors
Project Detailskm (320 mi) of pipeline would run in Alberta and 657 km (408 mi) in British Columbia. The crude oil pipeline would have a diameter of 36 inches (910 mm) and a capacity of 525 thousand barrels per day (83.5103 m3/d). The condensate pipeline would have a diameter of 20 inches (510 mm) with a capacity of 193 thousand barrels per day (30.7103 m3/d).

Alternative ways to transport the crude include the Kinder Morgan Energy Partners plan to double the capacity of the 1,150-kilometre (710 mi) long Trans Mountain pipeline system to 600,000 barrels per day (95,000 m3/d). It runs from Edmonton, Alberta to terminals and refineries in central British Columbia, the Vancouver area and the Puget Sound region in Washington.

Another competing project is TransCanada┬┤s Keystone XL pipeline.
Level of Investment (in USD)5500000000
Type of PopulationUrban
Start Date2010
Company Names or State EnterprisesEnbridge Inc from Canada
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersRaincoast Conservation Foundation, Yinka-Dene Alliance, Carrier Sekani Tribal Council, Gitxaala First Nation Chief Elmer Moody, Pembina Institute
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Fisher people
Forms of MobilizationBoycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Development of a network/collective action
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Public campaigns
Shareholder/financial activism.
Threats to use arms
Gitxaala filed legal action in federal court claiming it should not be excluded from a Transport Canada review assessing Northern Gateways proposed shipping routes and marine terminals.

The proposed oil tanker routes pass through Gitxaala territories, but the First Nation is not part of the transport review process, said the band.
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Global warming
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Oil spills, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
OtherAs the type of oil to be transported is substantively different than conventional crude oil, ejos fear it will make the pipeline more likely to corrode, leak or break.

Of the hundreds of rivers Northern Gateway is set to cross, 83 are deemed highly sensitive, such as salmon spawning streams, or home to rare aquatic wildlife.

The project is also said to threaten the endangered humpback whale.

Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..)
Potential: Militarization and increased police presence, Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCompensation
Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
Under negotiation
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Development of AlternativesThe proposal of the EJOs is to stop developing dirty tarsands oil.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.case continues
Sources and Materials

In December 2010, the federal House of Commons passed a non-binding motion to ban bulk oil tanker traffic in the Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound.


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enbridge pipeline threatens humpback whales off bc coast dfo/6442597444/story.html
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Meta Information
ContributorLeah Temper
Last update09/04/2015