Frackers Rape the Rule of Law and Gag Canadian First Nations under the Guise of ‘Benefit Agreements’: Case in Point, Coastal GasLink LNG Fracked Gas Pipeline Media Release by BC Tap Water Alliance, March 4, 2020
Vancouver: Since February 2010, the B.C. Tap Water Alliance has called for a ban on fracking (hydraulic fracturing) because it is unsafe, unethical and vile. Many countries and jurisdictions have banned or stopped fracking. Coastal GasLink LNG plans to ship fracked gas, along with an alternative to ship Alberta tar sands bitumen or condensate.
Ten years ago, Unist’ot’en members in Wet’suwet’en lands blocked and protested the first pipeline route proposal by Kitimat LNG as the fracking consortium began negotiating secret agreements with First Nations Band Councils. By December 2013, the National Energy Board (renamed “the Canadian Energy Regulator”) approved six more LNG and pipeline route proposals. It was reported in January 2014 that industry would require some 50,000 more fracked gas wells to supply the LNG projects, a staggering number that would wreak additional havoc on the environment and create added perpetual well-bore liabilities.
Was this industry spin? How much of BC’s gas is a waste product that industry must get rid of, because of companies chasing condensate to dilute Alberta’s tar sands for pipeline shipping?
After a copy of Coastal GasLink’s Impact and Benefit Agreement with First Nations was recently leaked, we learn the “benefit” includes disturbing gag orders in exchange for financial settlements. These include: no internal and external dissent from First Nation members; no media or social media campaign; no future claims against the pipeline company.
One of the disturbing, if not unconstitutional, elements contained within the agreement, grants Coastal GasLink an option to “convert the pipeline … for transportation of crude oil, bitumen or dilbit,” provided that it is done by “the consent” of the said First Nations. In 2016, because of widespread opposition, the Canadian government cancelled the Northern Gateway Pipeline proposal to transport Alberta Tar Sands to BC’s coast near Prince Rupert. However, Alberta’s Tar Sands are a significant liability which the world is rejecting, corporations are fleeing, and investors are pulling out of.
- Sharing LNG fracking riches means sharing fracking shame: ecological and political crossroads crisis in B.C. / Western Canada. (September 3, 2013: B.C. Tap Water Alliance open letter to 15 First Nations)
- Wall Street invading Wet’suwet’en territory.
- Why are Indigenous rights being defined by an Energy Corporation?
- Non-disclosure agreements “are, indeed, an ugly instrument.”
- The Wet’suwet’en, Aboriginal Title, and the Rule of Law: An Explainer.