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Take Action to Support Southern Resident Killer Whales!

Tell Insurance Companies: Stop Providing Coverage for Canada's Trans Mountain Pipeline


The Trans Mountain pipeline goes from Alberta, Canada, to Burnaby, B.C. where oil tankers are loaded with diluted bitumen for transport through the Salish Sea and the Southern Resident killer whales’ critical habitat. The pipeline expansion project is proceeding without the free, prior, and informed consent of First Nations and Tribes whose unceded territories and Tribal Treaty Rights are impacted by the pipeline and the oil tanker traffic. The project is a global climate catastrophe, violates Indigenous rights, and harms the entire Salish Sea marine ecosystem.

We can stop the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project (TMX) and an additional 696 oil tanker transits each year through the Southern Residents’ critical habitat if we can convince insurance companies to stop providing coverage for TMX.

Canadian Law requires the Trans Mountain pipeline to have at least USD $500 million of insurance coverage. Public pressure has led to three insurance companies cancelling their coverage of the pipeline. Right now, Trans Mountain is shopping for their next insurance policy, which will be in place from September 1, 2021 to August 31, 2022. Now is the time to pressure insurers to not renew or sign new policies.

The Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion’s tanker traffic would ship an additional 590,000 barrels per day of highly toxic tar sands oil through the Salish Sea.[1] This expansion will significantly increase accident and oil spill risk, imperiling our environment and our economy. The noise and disruption from the oil tankers impact the critically endangered Southern Resident killer whales’ ability to find scarce food. The increased oil tanker traffic will also increase the risk of fatal ship strikes.

Tar sands oil ranks among the most carbon-intensive oils on the planet. Compared with other crude oils, tar sands oil takes more energy to extract and refine, and therefore its production is more greenhouse gas intensive.[2]


Contact Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler:

Thank Commissioner Kreidler for urging the insurance industry in WA State to work with Tribes on adopting policies of consent on environmental projects that affect Tribes (click here to learn more). Tell Commissioner Kreidler that the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project is proceeding without the free, prior, and informed consent of all the First Nations and Tribes whose unceded territories and Tribal Treaty Rights are impacted by the pipeline and the oil tanker traffic. Ask Commissioner Kreidler to urge the insurance industry in WA State to not provide coverage for the Trans Mountain Pipeline.

Call 360-725-7000 and/or send a message here.

Contact Insurance company CEOs:

Click here for insurance company contact information.

A personal communication by email or phone is most effective. Below is a sample letter and you can also click here to send this letter via email to all the insurance companies.

To the CEOs of Liberty Mutual, Chubb, AIG, Lloyd’s, and WR Berkley:

I am immensely concerned about the insurance policy that you are providing and/or considering providing to the Trans Mountain pipeline.

The existing Trans Mountain pipeline is a major environmental and public health hazard, and the Trans Mountain expansion project would multiply these risks tremendously. Tar sands oil is one of the dirtiest, most carbon-intensive fuels on the planet, and its extraction has already contaminated the drinking water and food of Indigenous communities in Canada and unleashed massive amounts of carbon pollution.

I am especially concerned about Trans Mountain’s pipeline and tanker traffic accident and oil spill risk and the tanker traffic noise and presence impacts to the critically endangered Southern Resident killer whales and Tribal Treaty Rights in the Salish Sea. The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion that’s under construction will significantly increase tanker traffic and associated impacts and risks.

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion violates Indigenous rights and Tribal Treaty rights. I ask that you to adopt a policy to adhere to an internationally recognized Free Prior and Informed Consent of Indigenous people.

I call on you to publicly commit to not renewing or issuing any new insurance policies for Trans Mountain, and adopt policies that prohibit insurance for all tar sands extraction and transport projects and companies and that respect Indigenous rights.

If you provide an insurance policy for the Trans Mountain pipeline for 2021-2022 and do not publicly adopt the policies outlined above, I will continue to highlight your role as a major fossil fuel insurer and global warming enabler and I will encourage family, friends, and institutions to cancel their policies with your company.

[1] The Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project application includes only 590,000 barrels per day of additional capacity for a total system capacity of 890,000 barrels per day.  According to the application, the additional 590,000 barrels per day would increase oil tanker traffic by 696 transits per year. However, the pipeline expansion is designed to carry 780,000 barrels of crude oil a day for a total system capacity of 1.08 million barrels per day. An increase of 780,000 barrels per day would result in an additional 920 oil tanker transits per year (see B032 – Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC – Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC responses to National Energy Board Information Request No. 1 – Part 1 of 2 (A60392) Page 463 of 481

[2] See Inside Climate News: Carbon Footprint of Canada’s Oil Sands Is Larger Than Thought and Liggio, J., Li, SM., Staebler, R.M. et al. Measured Canadian oil sands CO2 emissions are higher than estimates made using internationally recommended methods. Nat Commun 10, 1863 (2019). “The results indicate that CO2 emission intensities for OS [oil sands] facilities are 13–123% larger than those estimated using publically available data. This leads to 64% higher annual GHG emissions from surface mining operations, and 30% higher overall OS GHG emissions (17 Mt) compared to that reported by industry, despite emissions reporting which uses the most up to date and recommended bottom-up approaches. Given the similarity in bottom-up reporting methods across the entire O&G [oil and gas] sector, these results suggest that O&G CO2 emissions inventory data may be more uncertain than previously considered.”

Katie FlemingTMX Action for Southern Resident Killer Whales