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'Greenpeace dropout' Patrick Moore defends Kinder Morgan pipeline

12/01/2014 08:24 EST | Updated 01/31/2015 05:59 EST
Former Greenpeace president Patrick Moore believes Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline should move forward despite protests because he says it's in the best interest of the country.

Moore was among the early members of Greenpeace, but is now known for his opposing views, including support for the oil sands. He publicly claims man-made climate change is not happening, despite what the majority of scientists think based on evidence.

"I think people have been worked up about something that is very unlikely to be a big problem in the end," he told The Early Edition's Rick Cluff Monday while speaking about protests opposing the pipeline last week on Burnaby Mountain.

Others have pointed to the pipeline protests — and the willingness of people to go to jail — as a sign the company needs to earn a social license before moving forward.

"The government of Canada...and the proponents can't just bully their way through," deputy Liberal leader Ralph Goodale told Rick Cluff on Friday.

"They need to earn the trust and the confidence of the people that they're dealing with."

Patrick Moore said it can be difficult to gain that support when people don't understand the broader economic implications of the project.

"I think there will always be people opposed to projects. People have been very much opposed to the whole Gateway project in the Lower Mainland of making transportation flow better to the ports, and they're opposed to the ports themselves," he said.

Moore recently wrote a book called "Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout" and is now the environment chair of the Frontier Centre of Public Policy, a Winnipeg-based think tank which says it promotes policy that will "help Canada's prairie region live up to its vast but unrealized economic potential."

Moore said moving oil out of Alberta and to international markets is in the economic interest of Canada.

"It's been put into a moral context now that fossil fuels are evil. They are not evil. They are 88 per cent of all the energy that is underpinning civilization," he said.

"I think if we did what Greenpeace says, our civilization would come crashing to a halt. Billions of people would die if we gave up on oil."

Kinder Morgan has packed up its equipment on Burnaby Mountain after a B.C. Supreme Court judge rejected the company's application to extend an injunction against protesters on Thursday.

The survey work was required for the company to make its application to the National Energy Board for the pipeline expansion.

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