Indigenous land and water defenders oppose Calgary-based TC Energy pipelines in Mexico

Published by Brent Patterson on

Calgary-based TC Energy Corporation (formerly TransCanada Corp.) is well-known in Canada. It’s the company behind the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, the Coastal GasLink fracked gas pipeline, and the Energy East tar sands pipeline.

It’s also a company known in Mexico for its pipelines.

The TC Energy website says, “A natural gas pipeline that will stretch 287 km (178 miles) from end to end, the Tula Pipeline Project will safely deliver fuel from Tuxpan, Veracruz, to communities in the states of Puebla and Hidalgo. Clean-burning natural gas from the pipeline will be used to supply new power generation plants in the region and facilitate the conversion of existing plants currently operating with fuel oil.”

An October 2018 article in Deutsche Welle tells of resistance to that pipeline by the Otomi indigenous community in Chila de Juarez, while an August 2019 article in The Nation tells of further opposition to the megaproject:

  • “Homemade signs expressed outrage over the pipeline that was set to run from the Gulf of Mexico through Puebla to its destination at a thermoelectric plant in Tula, Hidalgo.”
  • “If finished, the Tuxpan-Tula pipeline would connect to an underwater pipeline from Brownsville, Texas, known as Sur de Texas-Tuxpan, also owned by TransCanada.”
  • “The pipeline would connect the oil and gas fields of West Texas with the burgeoning Mexican energy market. Crucially, it will lock Mexico into natural gas consumption for years to come, delaying the transition to renewable fuel sources and making it nearly impossible for the country to meet its climate goals.”
  • “When [Mexican president] López Obrador announced in June 2019 that Mexico would renegotiate contracts for seven pipelines, including Tuxpan-Tula, the reaction was fast and harsh. The [now former] Canadian ambassador to Mexico [Pierre Alaire] tweeted that he was ‘profoundly concerned’.”

By January 7 of this year, the Mexico News Daily reported, “López Obrador told indigenous residents of the Sierra Norte in Puebla that his government will not allow the Canadian company TC Energy to build the pipeline through areas they consider sacred.”

Instead, the pipeline will be rerouted. That article adds, “[Mexico City-based energy consultant Gonzalo] Monroy highlighted that nobody yet knows what the new route will be or how additional rights of way will be obtained.”

Then on February 8, Natural Gas Intel reported, “[The construction of] the Tuxpan-Tula pipeline … has been held up by a pending indigenous consultation process by [Mexico’s energy ministry] Sener and is still years away from completion.”

That article adds that the underwater Sur de Texas-Tuxpan marine pipeline went into service in September 2019 and that TC Energy expects to phase into service its Tula-Villa de Reyes pipeline in the second quarter of this year.

Educa Oaxaca, which has been accompanied by the Peace Brigades International-Mexico Project since May 2013, has made the link between Indigenous opposition to TC Energy in Mexico to opposition against it in Indigenous territories in Canada.

On February 6 of this year, after the RCMP raid against Wet’suwet’en land defenders opposed to the TC Energy Coastal GasLink pipeline, Educa Oaxaca posted an article titled Canadian Police Attack Indigenous Resistance Against TransCanada Gas Pipeline which noted resistance to the Tuxpan-Tula and Tula-Villa de Reyes pipelines.

To send a message to the Prime Minister asking him to take immediate action on a UN resolution in support of Wet’suwet’en land defenders, please go to this PBI-Canada Urgent Action.

Twitter photo by Educa Oaxaca.

Categories: News Updates

1 Comment

Barbara Murphy-Bridge · May 4, 2020 at 1:57 pm

Indigenous land and water defenders oppose Calgary-based TC Energy pipelines in Mexico – TC Energy Corporation really makes me ashamed of being a Canadian. The whole world needs to transition from fossil fuel. AMLO needs to make that abundantly clear to Canada’s Ambassador to Mexico Graeme C. Clark !!

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