In early December, Canada’s National Energy Board gave Texas pipeline company Kinder Morgan permission to ignore local laws and permits while starting construction on its Trans-Mountain pipeline. Scheduled to ship nearly 900,000 barrels of tar sands per day from Alberta to Burnaby, British Columbia by 2019, the project is a potential lightning rod for the climate movement.
As someone with more than a decade involved in campaigns to stop tar sands expansion, I’ve been struggling with a simple question: How do we stop Kinder Morgan now that it’s been approved?
On the one hand, there is a newly minted provincial government in British Columbia that took power with a promise to “use every tool” at its disposal to stop the project. On the other, the federal government, in support of Alberta and Kinder Morgan, has argued the province has no real recourse for action.
The movement, especially indigenous peoples, have pledged fierce resistance. In the last few months of 2017, we’ve started seeing sparks of disobedience — a mass flotilla shutting down Kinder Morgan’s terminal construction, a series of actions bird-dogging the same federal leaders who approved the pipeline and the launch of the Tiny House Warriors project, an indigenous-led strategy to construct tiny homes along the path of the pipeline.