Keystone XL isn't the only pipeline in the works that will send oil from Alberta oil sands to far-off lands. Canadian pipeline builder Enbridge wants to build a new pipe to connect Edmonton with the port of Kitimat in northern British Columbia, where oil would be loaded onto tankers and shipped through the Douglas Channel, headed to Asia and California. The proposal, called the Northern Gateway Project, may be approved later this year but has attracted opposition from environmentalists and Aboriginal people on the B.C. coast. (Check out this story for more details on the proposal.)
The Raincoast Conservation Foundation is fighting the pipeline and appealed to gear-maker Patagonia to get the word out. Patagonia turned to filmmaker and surf ambassador Chris Malloy, who, along with a team of B.C. surfers and Raincoast's Chris Darimont, sailed along the coast on a surf safari/reconnaissance mission to see the proposed tanker shipping lanes. The result is Groundswell, a short film that Malloy is currently editing for release this fall.
I talked to Malloy about the journey, the movie, and what inspires him to document threatened landscapes.
--Mary Catherine O'Connor
What compelled you to make Groundswell? What kind of impact do you think it will make?