Background of the Campaign
“Our people’s belief is that we are part of the land. The land is not separate from us. The land sustains us. And if we don’t take care of her, she won’t be able to sustain us, and we as a generation of people will die.” – Freda Huson, Unist’ot’en Hereditary Spokesperson
A constantly expanding number of companies have proposed Tar Sands and Fracking Gas pipelines through Unist’ot’en territory.
Three particular companies, Chevron, TransCanada, and Enbridge, are still working without consent from Unist’ot’en.
Coastal Gaslink – TransCanada
- 670-kilometer Hydrofracturing (Fracking) gas pipeline
- Would run through rugged mountains from Dawson Creek to Kitimat, B.C.
- Owned by TransCanada, the same corporation funding the Keystone XL and Energy East Pipeline projects.
The TransCanada Coastal GasLink pipeline would run approximately 670 kilometres across Northern B.C. It is part of a recently-approved $40 billion fracked gas project LNG Canada that is the single largest private sector investment in Canadian history. LNG Canada is a fracked gas processing facility run by five companies, of which Royal Dutch Shell is a 40% owner. The NDP provincial government announced tax breaks for this LNG project even though the biggest driver of climate change in the province over the coming decades will be from the LNG industry.
Fracking injects vast amounts of freshwater combined with sand and 750 chemicals into drill sites to break up hard shale formations and release trapped gas below the ground. Fracking also causes large amounts of methane to escape into the atmosphere, which has a serious impact on our climate and public health. Alberta’s tar sands is the top consumer of fracked gas in Canada, accounting for one-quarter of the fracked gas used.
- Coastal GasLink pipeline permitted through illegal process, lawsuit contends.
- How BC’s Gas Giveaway Fuels Alberta’s Oilsands.
- LNG-sized gap in B.C.’s climate plan raises questions about government’s priorities.
- LNG Canada: Short-term politics trumps long-term climate responsibility.
- A Clear Look at BC LNG: Energy security, environmental implications and economic potential.
- Fracking is bad health policy by Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment
- Booklet on Coastal Gaslink Pipeline, Fracking, and the Health of B.C.
- Who’s banking the Coastal GasLink pipeline?
Pacific Trails Pipeline – Chevron
- 480-kilometer Hydrofracturing (Fracking) gas pipeline
- Would run from Summit Lake to Kitimat, B.C., to export gas to Asian markets.
- Chevron, notorious for human rights and environmental violations, purchased shares of the project after other companies backed out.
Northern Gateway Pipeline – Enbridge
- 1,177-kilometer twin pipelines from Alberta to Kitimat, B.C.
- One pipe would carry Tar Sands Oil
- The other pipe would carry condensate, a form of gas used to dilute the molasses-like bitumen to allow it to flow through pipelines.
- Enbridge owns 50% of the project. The other half is owned by private investors. Four of those investors remain confidential. National Energy Board documents reveal the other six are: French oil company Total; Suncor (TSX:SU); MEG Energy; Cenovus (TSX:CVE); Nexen (TSX:NXY), the Calgary company taken over last year by Chinese state-owned China National Offshore Oil Co.; and Sinopec, China’s largest oil company.
The proposed pipelines are a threat to the watershed, as well as the plants, animals and communities that depend on them. The Unist’ot’en are fighting for the future health of the land. They are protecting the traditional hunting, trapping, and fishing territories to ensure that the natural beauty and bounty of the earth will be enjoyed for generations to come. Visit our Resources page to learn more.
Unist’ot’en traditional territory remains relatively intact.
The forests are still there, wildlife prospers, and the water is still pure.
To enforce the decision to preserve the territory for future generations, a cabin was built in the exact place where Trans-Canada, Enbridge, and Pacific Trails want to lay pipelines.
Is the Campaign Working?
No pipeline work has been done within Unist’ot’en territory since we started. Several times, contractors from pipeline companies have been confronted by indigenous land defenders and peacefully turned away.
The camp has grown to a whole community in resistance. Volunteers helped build a permaculture garden, a solar powered mini-grid, and a healing lodge/cultural centre, under the guidance of hereditary indigenous leadership to help create a working vision for future generations.
What About Jobs?
Dirty energy industries use the promise of “jobs” as their main argument to force people, who need money, into accepting their destructive plans.
But these promises are usually broken.
Even for such a massive project as the Keystone XL pipeline (875 miles of pipeline), there are only 3500 temporary jobs and 35 permanent jobs. For smaller projects like the ones proposed here, there are far less, both temporary and permanent jobs.
96% of profits go to the company – $178.2 billion. The Moricetown Band agreement states that the Band would receive $20.4 million over 35 years – which amounts to approximately $364,000 when divided between 16 partners.
Should we settle for crumbs from the industry’s feasting table?
It’s not a matter of IF there will be a spill. It’s only a matter of WHEN.
“Natural gas” conceals the dirty truth of fracking, which government, industry, media, and NGOs have tried to silence.
Although sold as a safer form of gas transportation, there have been over 990 natural gas transmission line accidents, 137 injuries, and 34 deaths since 2000.
Danger on the Waters
Supertankers are the size of the Empire State Building in length. They would pass through Hecate Strait near Kitimat, the 4th most dangerous body of water in the world.
The Last Drops
BC has been doing “natural gas” extraction for 50 years – reserves of gas will be depleted by 2020.
Fracking uses a mix of water, sand, and chemicals. There are 750 substances used in fracking. 29 are known to be toxic and/or cause cancer.
Fracking wastes huge amounts of clean water. For example, Apache plans to drill 2,000 to 3,000 wells in the Horn River Basin every several decades. Each well will use up to 90 million liters of water. That’s up to 270 billion liters of water!