The Trans Mountain Pipeline bleeds into Washington state and Indigenous waters

Sightline Institute

The Canadian government---with Alberta's support---just bought a key pipeline in Washington.

News Release

Sightline Institute

WASHINGTON--Sightline Institute's researcher, Clark Williams-Derry, will host a press conference today at 4:30 p.m. after a meeting between one of Sightline’s researchers, multiple local Indigenous leaders, environmental groups, and the Canadian Consul about the Trans Mountain Pipeline.

This is the same type of pipeline that’s been proposed time and time again here in the Pacific Northwest.

In fact, Canada’s recent purchase of the Trans Mountain Pipeline includes buying the existing Puget Sound Pipeline spurt, which splits from the Canadian pipeline, goes into Washington, and ends up at the BP and Phillips 66 refineries in Whatcom County, and the Andeavor (formerly Tesoro) and Shell refineries in Skagit County.

If you can’t attend the press conference (it is a 30-seating-only room), you canWATCH THE LIVESTREAM.

A number of Sightline’s research team has expertise in environmental impacts of fossil fuels and the Thin Green Line fight stopping them from digging into the earth, and traveling across land by train and sea by boat.

Other environmental researchers on hand at Sightline include Eric de Place (researcher for the Thin Green Line) or Tarika Powell (researcher on fossil fuel impact).

Williams-Derry focuses on tracking finances, and will not only have plenty to say for today's press conference but has the research to back it up**:**

“It seems likely that the Canadian province of Alberta---home to a massive tar sands industry that produces some of the globe's dirtiest and most polluting oil---has put the Pacific Northwest in its cross hairs. The country is partnering with the Canadian government to ram through the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, a 715-mile conduit that would carry up to 890,000 barrels of oil per day from the Canadian interior to southwest British Columbia. Much of that oil would be exported by tanker from a port just outside of Vancouver---resulting in a seven-fold increase in oil tanker trips from the Port of Vancouver into the Salish Sea. Additional tar sands oil would make its way south to Puget Sound refineries, via a 69-mile pipeline called the Puget Sound Pipeline (PSP).

Strikingly, this means that the government of Canada is poised to become the sole owner of an oil pipeline feeding Washington State refineries. Even more troublingly, Kinder Morgan has been telling investors for years that it is considering doubling the capacity of the Puget Sound Pipeline.

Let’s leave aside the tar sands’ massive problems with sulfur, heavy metals, spills, and the outright decimation of the Athabascan landscape. The raw product of tar sands mining is essentially sludge, and it takes a lot of additional energy to process it into something useful. Because of the extra energy demand, tar sands oil is some of the most carbon-intensive oil on the planet: ”

Furthermore, our researcher de Place notes where the Trans Mountain Pipeline has been and where it's going:

"The existing Trans Mountain line delivers 300,000 barrels of crude oil daily over a 715-mile route from Alberta to the Northwest. Some of it goes to a marine terminal at Burnaby, British Columbia, where it is loaded on vessels for export to Tacoma, Washington, several locations in California, and other refining centers. Yet most of the oil, about 191,000 barrels daily, is diverted to a branch line known as the Puget Sound Pipeline, which delivers the fuel along a 69-mile route to four refineries at Ferndale and Anacortes, Washington."

Below is Stand.Earth's join press release. Stand.Earth is an advocacy organization making demands on behalf of the environment.

Canada’s buyout of Trans Mountain Pipeline includes Puget Sound Pipeline in Washington state, where groups are pushing for land use updates to prevent increases in shipments of tar sands MEDIA ADVISORY, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 6, 2018

U.S. environmental, indigenous leaders to meet with Canada Consulate to reiterate strong opposition to Trans Mountain Pipeline

Canada’s buyout of Trans Mountain Pipeline includes Puget Sound Pipeline in Washington state, where groups are pushing for land use updates to prevent increases in shipments of tar sands crude oil

SEATTLE, WA — On Thursday afternoon, environmental and indigenous leaders from Washington state will meet with the Consulate General of Canada to reiterate their strong opposition to the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project in British Columbia and any increases in tar sands crude oil shipments by tanker, train, or pipeline in Washington state.

The meeting will be followed by a press conference with representatives from Tulalip Tribe, 350 Seattle, Friends of the San Juans, Sightline Institute,, Stand Up to Oil Coalition, and Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility.

At the press conference, representatives will discuss the recent Canadian federal government buy out of the Trans Mountain Pipeline — which includes the Puget Sound Pipeline spur that runs to four refineries in Washington state. Representatives will also address the climate and health impacts of tar sands, the oil spill risk from increased tanker traffic in the Salish Sea, and concerns over Canada’s climate plan.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has spoken out against the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project over oil spill and tanker traffic concerns. Recently, 79 elected leaders (including 29 state legislators) who are part of the Safe Energy Leadership Alliance (SELA) sent a letter to B.C. Premier John Horgan to show solidarity with opposition to the project.

WHAT: Press conference on Washington state opposition to Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline

WHEN: Thursday, June 7, 4:30 p.m.


WHERE: Room 630, Joseph Vance and Sterling Buildings, 1402 3rd Ave, Seattle, WA 98101


  • Stephanie Buffum, Executive Director at Friends of the San Juans
  • Dr. Margaret Kitchell, Climate & Health Task Force at Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility
  • Matt Krogh, Extreme Oil Campaign Director at
  • Patrick Mazza, Co-Facilitator of 350 Seattle Community Solutions Workgroup
  • Kayah Parker George, member of Tulalip Tribe in Washington State and Tsleil-Waututh Nation in British Columbia
  • Rebecca Ponzio, Campaign Director at Stand Up to Oil Coalition
  • Clark Williams-Derry, Director of Energy Finance at Sightline Institute

And someone from King County’s Safe Energy Leadership Alliance


On May 29, 2018, the Canadian federal government announced it would buy out the existing Trans Mountain Pipeline and expansion project from Kinder Morgan Canada, spending C$4.5B to purchase the existing infrastructure, also taking on an assumed C$7.4B in construction costs, totaling nearly C$12B.

The purchase includes the existing Puget Sound Pipeline spur, which splits from the existing Trans Mountain Pipeline east of Langley, B.C. and runs into Washington state to the BP and Phillips 66 refineries in Whatcom County and the Andeavor (formerly Tesoro) and Shell refineries in Skagit County.

Financial disclosure documents issued as part of Kinder Morgan Canada’s Initial Public Offering in 2017 indicate that as part of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project, the company has indicated the potential to more than double the potential throughput of the Puget Sound Pipeline, boosting its capacity from 240,000 to 500,000 barrels per day (bpd). The pipeline currently averages 191,000 bpd.

The potential doubling of the Puget Sound Pipeline was mentioned again in February 2018 in Kinder Morgan Canada’s annual U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing. This proposal comes despite ongoing U.S. resistance to the pipeline to prevent crude oil export, including land use updates in Whatcom County intended to prevent any increases in shipments of tar sands crude oil through the Puget Sound Pipeline spur, and a moratorium on permits for new fossil fuel infrastructure projects in effect in Whatcom County since August 2016.

Media contact for Sightline Institute: Kelsey Hamlin, Communications Associate,,, 206-447-1880 ext. 114

Media contact for StandEarth: Virginia Cleaveland, Press Secretary,,, 510-858-9902 (US), 778-984-3994 (Canada)


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