Canada’s National Energy Board today ruled that the Trans Mountain pipeline is safe for the environment, as long as it follows the board’s 1,432 recommendations – the first of which stipulates that no oil, bitumen, or diluted bitumen ever be transported along any part of the proposed 1,150 km project.
“Oh God no, we wouldn’t recommend you put anything toxic in it,” said the NEB’s Head of Pipeline Re-Re-Reeassessments, Dr. Foulle-Nelson. “Do you have any idea how damaging that could be to the environment when the thing inevitably leaks? Jesus people, why don’t we just shove some radioactive waste through the tubes while we’re at it? Single-headed moose, and flightless beavers are so painfully boring, after all.”
The board’s decision comes after it was asked to double-check the impact of the pipeline on the many ecosystems along its proposed length, with a view towards finding a way to keep pro-oil Canadians happy, while leaving at least a token amount of unsoiled countryside for future generations. Should there be any.
“Thus, after carefully evaluating how well boreal forest grows when steeped in raw tarmac, as well as the ways in which the spawning habits of various fish species are impacted by being dead, and the success whales have when interacting with the bulbous bows of increased numbers of oil tankers, we decided that this pipeline is absolutely safe for the environment. As long as it transports nothing more dangerous than purified air, filtered water, or liquid sunshine.”
The announcement is likely to come as a disappointment for oil companies.
“Yeah. You could say that,” said Tim Ludlum, the Edmonton-based author of the bestselling book ‘Sell Now, Pay Later: Hydrocarbon Capitalization Strategies For The
Future Now,’ when asked if not being able to deliver oil through the Trans Mountain pipeline is a bit of a setback. “The oil sands aren’t really known for making a whole lot of liquid fucking sunshine, now are they?”
Elsewhere, though, the news was greeted with pragmatism, and new proposals for things that could be shipped through the mountains by interconnected tubes.
“Grandmas. I’d really like to see 30,000-40,000 barrels of grandmothers an hour going in at Edmonton, and coming out at Burnaby,” said Vancouver resident, Sheryl Rockford. “Ever since nan stopped driving back in ’09 it’s been hard to find the time to get back to Alberta to see her. A dedicated pipeline for old ladies would solve that problem. And if there was a spill what’s the worst that could happen to the environment? So a grizzly gets a lecture about the fact it isn’t getting any younger, and that maybe its time it settled down and had some cubs. Welcome to my world.”
And First Nations leaders along the pipeline’s intended route say that not only are they heartened to hear that even larger amounts of oil and bitumen won’t be running through their lands, but that this also offers a great opportunity to transport something that their lands have been fairly swamped with lately.
“Talk of reconciliation,” says a spokesperson from the Yale First Nation. “There’s been a whole lot of that piling up around here. It’d be nice to be able to put all that chat into a pumping station and move it on out of here by pipeline. Maybe clear the way for some actual action.”
He noted that, similarly to the grandma proposal, the natural impact of any echoey reconciliation-speak leaking en route to tidewater, “Would be next to nothing. As we’ve seen quite a lot lately, that shit evaporates pretty quickly.”
For their part, the National Energy Board says that both old people, and old promises, would likely be permitted to travel through the as-yet unbuilt conduit.
“Because they’re not oil. Which this pipeline should definitely never, ever even consider transporting.”