For immediate release: May 15, 2013

The combined coal, oil, and natural gas projects proposed in British Columbia and the American Northwest would, if built, be capable of delivering fossil fuels loaded with 761 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually (see chart below).

A new report by Seattle-based think tank Sightline Institute, available online at, finds that the 16 new fossil fuel export proposals in the Pacific Northwest have a potential carbon footprint equivalent to:

  • More than seven Keystone XL pipelines at initial build-out
  • Twelve times as much as all the climate-warming gases emitted in British Columbia
  • More than three times all the carbon emitted annually in Alberta
  • 157 million cars
  • 76 coal-fired power plants

In order to reach lucrative markets in Asia, fossil fuel companies hope to build new export infrastructure in British Columbia, Oregon, and Washington. In total these firms are pushing for seven new or expanded coal export terminals, three new oil pipelines, and at least six new natural gas pipelines, all designed to deliver fuels from North America’s interior to the Pacific Coast.

Sightline policy director and report author Eric de Place said,  “If we build the infrastructure fossil fuel companies want, it will eclipse the Northwest’s reputation for environmental leadership and turn us into a carbon export hub of global consequence.”


About Sightline Institute

Founded in 1993, Sightline Institute provides leading original analysis of energy, economic, and environmental policy in the Pacific Northwest. For more information, see

May 15, 2013