Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

Fossil Fuel Export Panel

Description

Currently, more than a dozen oil, coal and liquid natural gas projects are proposed on both sides of the border, threatening the health of the Salish Sea and its communities, as well as the global climate. Recent estimates suggest that if all the projects were to be approved, each year they would generate an extra 308 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and an additional 1,200 ship journeys through the already-busy waters of the Salish Sea. Each fossil fuel project proposed in BC and Washington is currently being assessed in isolation from the others by the government agencies that are responsible for providing permits, without adequate consideration of the combined impacts both regionally and globally. Until recently, civil society opposition to these projects has also been largely place-based and project-specific.

However, BC and Washington residents are becoming increasingly aware of the region-wide picture of fossil fuel exports via the shared waters of the Salish Sea. A narrative is growing around the Pacific Northwest as the ‘thin green line’ between a land-locked fossil fuel industry and its overseas markets. This presentation will summarize the proposed projects and their combined impacts, and discuss the growing number of civil society initiatives aiming to unite BC and Washington communities in protecting the region as a whole from the threats posed by fossil fuel transport, and transforming the Salish Sea from a carbon corridor to a fossil fuel bottleneck. Cross-border assessment and protection tools, advocacy campaigns and grassroots projects will all be discussed.

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Cross-border citizen action: Protecting the Salish Sea from the risks of fossil fuel transport

2016SSEC

Currently, more than a dozen oil, coal and liquid natural gas projects are proposed on both sides of the border, threatening the health of the Salish Sea and its communities, as well as the global climate. Recent estimates suggest that if all the projects were to be approved, each year they would generate an extra 308 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and an additional 1,200 ship journeys through the already-busy waters of the Salish Sea. Each fossil fuel project proposed in BC and Washington is currently being assessed in isolation from the others by the government agencies that are responsible for providing permits, without adequate consideration of the combined impacts both regionally and globally. Until recently, civil society opposition to these projects has also been largely place-based and project-specific.

However, BC and Washington residents are becoming increasingly aware of the region-wide picture of fossil fuel exports via the shared waters of the Salish Sea. A narrative is growing around the Pacific Northwest as the ‘thin green line’ between a land-locked fossil fuel industry and its overseas markets. This presentation will summarize the proposed projects and their combined impacts, and discuss the growing number of civil society initiatives aiming to unite BC and Washington communities in protecting the region as a whole from the threats posed by fossil fuel transport, and transforming the Salish Sea from a carbon corridor to a fossil fuel bottleneck. Cross-border assessment and protection tools, advocacy campaigns and grassroots projects will all be discussed.