So long as all of that good work in the U.S. can be undone by backward Canadian decision-making, we'll never make true progress. That's exactly why it is so critical for Americans, Canadians, First Nations and Tribes to come together to stop fossil fuel exports from the west coast of North America -- particularly through the waters of Puget Sound, the Strait of Georgia and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, collectively known as the Salish Sea.
Folks feel like hypocrites driving to work in the morning and opposing a pipeline at the end of the day. An important part of this dialogue is building an understanding that not only is it essential that we phase out our dependence on fossil fuels to stop the destabilization of the climate and the extreme weather events that come with it, but that doing so actually creates more jobs than the status quo.
While we're pleased that federal and provincial regulators finally took action and laid charges against Plains Midstream, the size and nature of the settlements is somewhat disconcerting. It raises a number of questions and once again sheds light on the major weaknesses in Canada's environmental law and enforcement framework.
We are mystified that with so much at stake, with the risks of this project being so high, the board would quibble over nine days. We would have expected the board to err on the side of good process and give Kinder Morgan the extra time to answer the questions that have been asked by municipalities, landowners, local businesses, First Nations and environmental organizations.
The review process for Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project has stripped away valuable opportunities for public input to ensure that the entire review process takes no more than 15 months. Unlike the review process for the proposed Northern Gateway, there will be no cross-examination of evidence or oral hearings in affected communities.
In effect, our right to participate in environmental reviews was restricted by a new requirement placed on each and every one of us -- we are now being forced to prove that we are directly affected by Kinder Morgan's pipeline proposal, or demonstrate that we have specific information of use to the NEB.