U.S.-Canada Oil Pipeline Hurts Orcas, Fishing Trade, Culture

Native American leaders banded together to testify against the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline project, testifying that expanding it would disrupt endangered orcas, natural resources and their cultures.

Native American tribal leaders from Puget Sound, Washington, testified before Canadas National Energy Board last week to oppose the controversial Trans Mountain oil pipeline project, which would cross the inland Canada and U.S. waters and triple, the Associated Press and The Seattle Times reported.

The pipeline project, reaching from the Alberta oil sands to the Pacific Coast, would triple its oil flow while crossing endangered orcas feeding grounds, affecting tribal fishing grounds and the earth around them, warned the tribal leaders.

After Canadas Court of Appeals stopped the project last August and ordered the board to research the pipelines impacts because the government failed to adequately consult with the tribes, the energy board heard new testimony, reported the AP.

Permitting the Trans Mountain pipeline will imperil our waters by introducing more oil into our Salish Sea, Leonard Forsman, Suquamish Tribe chairman, said before the hearing last week. Weve come up here to join our neighboring First Nations to try to stop the project.

Tribal leaders say the number of oil tankers would increase in the Salish Sea from 60 to 400 vessels yearly, seriously disrupting other wildlife, including salmon, plants, water and the air.

Robert Steedman, the energy boards chief environmen....

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