Groups Opposed To Pipeline Raise Objections

By December 16, 2013Hot Topic

Two of the groups opposed to the Trans Mountain Expansion Project application which was filed with the National Energy Board this morning have been quick to respond to the news.

Kinder Morgan files pipeline application despite widespread community opposition

Release VANCOUVER/VICTORIA December 16, 2013 – The Wilderness Committee is reiterating its concerns over Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline, after an announcement today that the company has filed its formal application with the National Energy Board (NEB).

The proposed pipeline from Edmonton, Alberta to Burnaby, BC has been met with increasing opposition from First Nations, environmentalists and community leaders along the route, whose concerns range from the threat of an oil spill to the impact of tar sands exports on global climate change.

“The message we‘ve been hearing from communities along the pipeline and tanker route is that this project is not wanted. First Nations, municipal leaders and even businesses have acknowledged the serious risks associated with the proposal, which would drastically increase tar sands exports from BC’s coast,” said Wilderness Committee Policy Director Gwen Barlee.

In its 15,000-page application, the company repeatedly refers to the proposed project as a “twinning” of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline, which has been in operation since the 1950s. However, large portions of the proposed route differ substantially from the existing one, and the proposal still requires the construction of a completely new pipeline meant for export rather than domestic use.

The Wilderness Committee has been very active in the campaign to stop this project, holding a series of town hall meetings over the past two years to connect with communities that will be most affected by the pipeline, and the 400 or more tankers it would bring to the Salish Sea and Burrard Inlet.

“The risks that this pipeline and the associated tankers pose to the Salish Sea are just not worth taking,” said Vancouver Island Campaigner Torrance Coste. “Whether it’s in the form of a catastrophic spill, or through its contribution to carbon emissions and climate change, this project will have serious negative impacts in the region.”

Now that the project has entered the official application phase, a public hearing process will follow in the coming year. Unfortunately, because of new rules around environmental assessments in Canada, members of the public must complete an application in order to participate. The right to participate will only be granted to those who are considered to be “directly affected”, or who are deemed to possess “relevant information or expertise”.

Kinder Morgan Pipeline Filed With NEB is a Twin of Enbridge not Trans Mountain

Release VANCOUVER, December 16, 2013 –– Kinder Morgan made official their plans to build a massive new tar sands export pipeline through British Columbia, announcing their filing with the National Energy Board Monday. Their announcement comes on the same week as Enbridge is expecting a decision from the NEB on their proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline.

“Kinder Morgan is trying to give folks in BC the impression that they are the better alternative to the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline and that their project is simply a twinning of the old Trans Mountain pipeline. The truth is that this is really a lot more like a twin of the Enbridge proposal than the existing Trans Mountain pipeline,” said Ben West, Tar Sands Campaign Director for ForestEthics Advocacy.

The Trans Mountain pipeline was built in 1952 to move conventional crude oil from Alberta to the west coast for local consumption in BC. Both the Enbridge and Kinder Morgan proposals are intended for the export of unconventional heavy oil from the tar sands in the form of diluted bitumen (dilbit) which proved much more expensive and even more difficult to recover when spilled in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Kinder Morgan’s plan is to build a new pipeline with capacity for almost 600,000 barrels/day (bpd) from Alberta to their terminal in Burnaby along a similar route to the existing 300,000 bpd Trans Mountain pipeline that they bought in 2005. This would mean an increase of oil tankers in Vancouver Harbour from 80 a year to over 400 per year.

The City of Vancouver and the City of Burnaby have already voiced strong opposition to Kinder Morgan’s pipeline and tanker plans, and the Union of BC Municipalities has come out against an increase in tanker traffic. Over 130 First Nations have signed on to the Save the Fraser Declaration opposing all tar sands export pipelines across B.C.

“We will be going over the application with a fine toothed comb in the weeks ahead but needless to say this is not the Christmas present that most people in BC want,” said West.

“The movement against these pipeline is already huge. Kinder Morgan has seen years of protest and they hadn’t even filed their proposal yet. If they think they will have an easier time getting approved than Enbridge they have another thing coming. Politicians give the permits but the people give the permission, and the people are saying no to both of these irresponsible pipeline proposals.”

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