First Nations leaders in Washington to stop pipeline

The Canadian Press

Canadian First Nations leaders are in Washington to try to persuade U.S. officials to reject a pipeline project they say will pump more “dirty oil” from Alberta into the U.S.

Francois Paulette, a former Dene chief, says oilsands pollution already affects more than 30 First Nations communities and increasing production will make matters worse.

He says a recent study linked oilsands operations to high levels of lead, mercury and other heavy metals in the Athabasca River system.

Paulette wants a moratorium on the Keystone X-L pipeline expansion which has been approved in Canada and now needs approval from Washington.

The TransCanada pipeline would reach all the way to the Gulf Coast.

The aboriginal leaders have meetings with the State Department, a White House environment council, the Department of Interior, the Canadian Embassy, and congressional officials.