Expansion of tar sands oil extraction driven by pipelines would not only destroy huge swathes of forests, it would significantly pollute local water sources and would tether future generations to continued emissions from tar sands production, over the same timeframe when global emissions must go down to zero.
Tar sands pipelines, whether to the Pacific, Gulf Coast, Great Lakes or Atlantic, scar the land and threaten the water of Indigenous and frontline communities across North America, and are often rammed through without the free, prior and informed consent of impacted Indigenous peoples.
More than 150 First Nations and Tribes have signed a treaty opposing all tar sands pipelines, rail cars, and tanker traffic from crossing their traditional lands and waters. By financing tar sands pipelines, which are opposed by the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion and the companies backing those pipelines — JPMorgan Chase runs a risk of contributing to further Indigenous rights abuses and the disruption of local economies and water supplies for generations.
This constitutes a violation of corporate responsibilities to respect human rights under the U.N. Guiding Principles on Human Rights, which hold that businesses must avoid causing or contributing to adverse human rights impacts through their activities or business relationships.
TransCanada’s Keystone XL
Keystone XL would carry over 800,000 barrels a day of toxic tar sands bitumen from the tar sands fields of Alberta, Canada to Nebraska, and from there to the U.S. Gulf Coast for refining and shipping. The proposed route crosses tribal lands and sacred sites, as well as ranches and farms.
TransCanada has failed to obtain consent from tribes along the route and the communities that stand to lose their source of drinking water. Numerous tribal nations have repeatedly expressed their adamant opposition to Keystone XL. Ninety-two landowners across the state of Nebraska have refused to sign easements with TransCanada because of the threat that a leak or spill from this pipeline poses to their land and livelihood, as well as the Ogallala Aquifer.
Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion Project
Kinder Morgan’s highly controversial Trans Mountain Pipeline, which is planned to take tar sands bitumen from Alberta to the port of Burnaby in British Columbia, would triple the capacity of an existing pipeline to 890,000 barrels a day. The existing Trans Mountain pipeline has 82 leak incidents under its belt, including four major oil spills.
The Trans Mountain Pipeline will potentially create just as many human rights violations as the Dakota Access pipeline, particularly with regard to the lack of Free and Prior Informed Consent from Indigenous peoples. The ongoing resistance to this project has been called the "Standing Rock of the North."
Enbridge's Line 3 Expansion
The Line 3 so-called “Replacement” Project is a proposal for a new pipeline that would cover more than 1,000 miles (1,660 km) from Hardisty, Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin, transporting an average of 760,000 barrels of crude oil from the Alberta tar sands each day, with a capacity of 844,000 barrels per day.
The current Line 3 pipeline carries a host of problems and with no pipeline abandonment requirements other than leaving the corroding pipe in the ground, Enbridge’s proposal will leave a lasting legacy of contamination. Instead of cleaning up its old mess, Enbridge instead proposes a brand new route for its new pipeline, creating a destructive corridor through the headwaters of the Mississippi River, the heart of Minnesota's lake country, wetlands, and some of the largest and most productive wild rice beds in the world.
Transcanada’s Energy East
Energy East faces major opposition from Indigenous Peoples and Canadians across the pipeline route. It would put the drinking water of Canadians across six provinces at risk of an oil spill and the Bay of Fundy at risk of a tanker spill.
The CA$12 billion pipeline would be the longest in North America when complete. The Pembina Institute released a report estimating the project's upstream impact as being between 30 and 32 million tonnes of carbon emissions per year.