Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs and Tara Houska of Honor the Earth took their arguments against tar sands/oil sands pipelines to the heart of fossil country yesterday with an op ed published in the Houston Chronicle. The post traces Indigenous opposition to the Trans Mountain and Line 3 pipelines and assures investors that neither project will either be built.
“For us, climate risk isn’t about profit margins or stranded assets,” they write. “While fossil fuel companies manage risk through calculus, we fight it head on.”
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They add that “resistance from First Nations has bogged down construction of the Kinder Morgan pipeline in legal and logistical battles, and we attended the Kinder Morgan and Enbridge general meetings last week to deliver a message: These companies will continue to face Indigenous-led pushback, which is supported by court rulings reinforcing Indigenous Title and Rights. These companies should include our resolve and legal victories against their pipelines in their risk assessment.”
They note that “insurmountable resistance” led by First Nations has already brought down the Northern Gateway and Energy East pipeline proposals, and the “Trans Mountain Expansion and Line 3 can expect the same fate.”
The op ed appeared just days after Kinder Morgan and the Canadian Department of Justice made the extraordinary decision to attempt to claim legal fees  from the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, after the community filed a May 2 motion asking the court to compel release of uncensored government documents related to the Trans Mountain approval process, following a blockbuster investigation  by National Observer. The company and the government both claimed there was nothing in the new revelations that warranted reopening court hearings that concluded last fall, and are now seeking costs for what they claim is an unwarranted delay.