Washington tribes say pipeline will harm orcas, way of life

SEATTLE (AP) — Several U.S. tribal leaders are voicing opposition to a proposed pipeline expansion project that would increase tanker traffic in the waters of Washington state and Canada.

Leaders from four Native American tribes were in Victoria, B.C., to testify before Canada’s National Energy Board Wednesday afternoon.

The contentious Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project would nearly triple the flow of oil from the Alberta oil sands to the Pacific Coast.

The U.S. tribal leaders say increased marine shipping through the Salish Sea will harm endangered southern resident killer whales, natural resources and their cultural way of life.

Canada’s government bought the pipeline from Kinder Morgan, viewing the expansion project as key to diversifying oil exports.

In August, Canada’s Court of Appeals halted the project and ordered the board to reconsider the project’s impacts from marine shipping.