Houston, TX- A diverse group of pipeline opponents – including Indigenous representatives, lawyers, community organizers and residents from both sides of the Canada-US border – is meeting in Houston today, ahead of the 2016 annual general meeting for stockholders of Kinder Morgan Inc. (KMI).
Representatives from the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation, who are opposing Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline and tankers expansion project, called the meeting. Dubbed the “Pipeline Slayers Symposium,” the unique gathering brings together opponents of Kinder Morgan’s recently abandoned Palmetto Pipeline in Georgia and North East Direct pipeline in New England, as well as local activists and veterans of the campaign to stop Keystone XL.
The meeting began with a Coast Salish honoring ceremony conducted by Rueben George, Sundance Chief and Manager of Tsleil-Waututh Nation’s Sacred Trust initiative.
“We wanted first and foremost to honor those who are also fighting to defend their lands and waters against risky Kinder Morgan projects,” said George.
“We are sharing stories and strategies, so that we can build on past experiences and demonstrate that opposition to these pipeline and oil tanker proposals is strong across North America. We are all connected by our love for the land, air and water that sustains us, and the shared recognition that these risky projects should not be forced on communities who do not want them.”
“One common trend that we heard about across projects was the arrogance with which Kinder Morgan approached communities,” said Eugene Kung of West Coast Environmental Law. “Community opposition and ongoing legal challenges have created significant delay, risk and uncertainty – and that is something that Kinder Morgan’s shareholders should be thinking about.”
“For far too long these private companies have been allowed to use government tools, such as eminent domain, to take people's land for private profit. It's time for that to end, and that we once again start protecting citizens above big corporate profits,” said Tonya Bonitatibus of Savannah Riverkeeper.
Representatives of Tsleil-Waututh and global corporate watchdog SumOfUs will be presenting shareholder proposals at the Kinder Morgan AGM on Tuesday – including a proposal that asks the company to issue an annual sustainability report describing the company's responses to environmental, social, and governance-related issues.
“The recent floods here in Houston and wildfires around the Alberta tar sands are the type of extreme weather that scientists have linked to climate change,” said Bryan Parras of T.E.J.A.S. “We are all in this together.”
For more information, please contact:
Rueben George | Manager, Tsleil-Waututh Sacred Trust Initiative - 1-604-720-4630
Eugene Kung | Attorney, West Coast Environmental Law - 1-604-355-3292