The Canadian Pipeline

The Canadian Pipeline

Use this map to explore the significance of, and controversy surrounding, the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline and oil tanker project. Students learn about the issues regarding the impact of the oil tankers on the environment and on indigenous communities, the failure of Enbridge to consult with the First Nations, and the ultimate rejection of the pipeline.

Grades

5 - 8

Subjects

Conservation, Earth Science, Engineering, Geography, Geology, Social Studies

Image

Oil Tanker Routes

The proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline would send oil tankers along ecologically sensitive routes in Canada's Great Bear Rainforest.

Infographic by National Geographic
Leveled by
Newsela
Powered by
Morgan Stanley

Educator Idea

The Trans Mountain Pipeline in Canada is used to transport oil from Alberta to the west coast of British Columbia where it is exported to foreign markets. Because of the significance of oil exports to the Canadian economy, multiple projects have been proposed to expand the pipeline system. Explain the controversy to students. The Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline, because of the oil tanker routes, was widely opposed by environmental groups and First Nations (the indigenous peoples of Canada who are not Inuit or Metis), as it posed health risks to indigenous communities and threatened local ecosystems. The Canadian Federal Court killed the project after deciding that Enbridge did not adequately consult with the First Nations that would be affected by the project and did not fully research the environmental risks. Using the map, show students how the proposed pipeline would cross Alberta to Kitimat, British Columbia, and then large oil tankers leaving Kitimat would cross the Great Bear Rainforest and the Douglas Channel.

Using the sources below, have students research how pipelines work, how they are monitored, and the incidence of spills. Have them list the pros and cons of expanding the pipeline. As an extension activity, have them research the communities and resources in the Great Bear Rainforest and the Douglas Channel and analyze the economic impact of building the pipeline, the risk of a spill, and the subsequent economic losses that might occur to the economy if there were a spill.

Media Credits

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Director
Tyson Brown, National Geographic Society
Author
National Geographic Society
Production Managers
Gina Borgia, National Geographic Society
Jeanna Sullivan, National Geographic Society
Program Specialists
Sarah Appleton, National Geographic Society, National Geographic Society
Margot Willis, National Geographic Society
Producer
André Gabrielli, National Geographic Society
other
Last Updated

May 20, 2022

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