Canada’s energy officials take over job of protecting fish from pipelines

By John Upton, Grist

A salmon in Canada
Arthur Chapman

Move aside, Canadian federal fisheries and oceans officials. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s administration has decided that the nation’s fossil-fuel-friendly energy regulators would do a better job of protecting fish in streams and lakes that cross paths with gas and oil pipelines. Northwest Coast Energy News has the scoop:

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has handed responsibility for fish and fish habitat along pipeline routes over to the National Energy Board. …

DFO and NEB quietly announced a memorandum of agreement on December 16, 2013, that went largely unnoticed with the release three days later of the Joint Review Panel decision on Northern Gateway and the slow down in news coverage over the Christmas holidays. …

Enbridge no longer has to apply to DFO for permits to alter fish habitat along the Northern Gateway route. …

Fish and fish habitat along [that] pipeline is now the responsibility of the Alberta-based, energy friendly National Energy Board.

This looks to be another horrifying step in Harper’s efforts to quash any science (or common sense) that might slow down the extraction and transportation of gas and oil in Canada.

John Upton is a science fan and green news boffin who tweets, posts articles to Facebook, and blogs about ecology. He welcomes reader questions, tips, and incoherent rants: