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Insurance companies drop coverage for Trans Mountain pipeline

Last Updated Jul 6, 2020 at 8:57 am MDT

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Plagued with delays, the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion has been dealt another setback after environmental groups put pressure on insurers, potentially forcing the project to find new coverage.

“If they look at the facts they will make the best decision and unfortunately some of these insurance companies have been tricked, I would argue,” said Cody Battershill with Canada Action, a non-profit supporting the country’s natural resource sector.

“If they’re going to try to paint themselves green at Canada’s expense, I think history will judge them poorly.”

For over a year now, environmental groups have been pressuring insurance companies to drop Trans Mountain and adopt climate policies, citing high risks of oil spills that could potentially endanger our coast and lands.

“Two have now signalled to us that they will drop the project, that policy is up at the end of August so we will be putting increased pressure on the other nine companies,” said Sven Biggs with Stand.earth.

“The big ones are Zurich Insurance, Liberty Mutual and Chubb.”

Battershill added that move is misguided, saying the companies are believing a lie that dropping coverage of Trans Mountain is somehow a reasonable climate policy.

“Canada is leading on renewables and environmental protection and we need to have that balanced conversation where we’re not attacking each other and if we do truly care about the global community and the global environment, Canada should be a supplier of choice.

“If Canada can’t supply countries who want to do business they’re going to be ultimately forced to buy from other suppliers, to our competitors,” Battershill said.

He added blocking Canadian oil has not kept a single barrel in the ground. Battershill believes the environmental pressure on insurance companies is nothing more than a targeted campaign to deter people from supporting Canadian energy development.

Last week, the Supreme Court of Canada rejected a request for an appeal from a group of First Nations against the project’s approval.

– With files from CityNews