Kinder Morgan Pipeline Expansion Approved By B.C. Government

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Premier Christy Clark announced that the provincial government has issued an environmental assessment certificate for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

The Canadian Press| Jan 11, 2017

VICTORIA – British Columbia granted environmental approval on Wednesday to the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

The federal government gave its approval for Kinder Morgan Canada’s $6.8-billion expansion of the pipeline late last year after the National Energy Board recommended it go ahead if 157 conditions are met.

Premier Christy Clark recently said five conditions the province placed on the project were close to being met. She said the government was still working with Ottawa on spill response and it was preparing to negotiate an economic benefits package with Kinder Morgan that reflects B.C.’s risks associated with the pipeline and increased tanker traffic.

The expansion would triple the capacity of the existing pipeline, which runs from near Edmonton to Burnaby, B.C., and increases tanker traffic seven-fold.

Environment Minister Mary Polak and Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman acknowledge in a news release that the energy board has the primary responsibility for ensuring the project is developed, constructed and operated in a safe and secure manner.

B.C.’s approval comes with 37 conditions on top of the energy board’s requirements, including the consultation of aboriginal groups, the development of a species-at-risk plan, and that a plan is established to mitigate and monitor the impact of the project on grizzly bears.

The provincial government also wants research conducted on the behaviour and cleanup of heavy oils spilled in freshwater and marine aquatic environments to provide spill responders with improved information.

The ministers were required to release their decision on the project by this month to comply with a B.C. Supreme Court ruling that found the province needed to conduct its own environmental assessment instead of relying on the National Energy Board process.

They said the province looked where it could improve the project by adding conditions.

“Clearly, the project will have economic benefits for British Columbia workers, families and communities,” the ministers said in the statement. “However, we have always been clear economic development will not come at the expense of the environment. We believe environmental protection and economic development can occur together, and the conditions attached to the (environmental assessment) certificate reflect that.”

Some environmental groups, mayors in British Columbia communities affected by the project and aboriginal leaders have opposed the pipeline expansion.

Peter McCartney of the Wilderness Committee accused the government of “blatantly” aligning itself against the wishes of its own citizens by granting the environmental approval.

“Right when we need our leadership to stand up to Alberta and Ottawa, they buckle like a cheap lawn chair,” he said in a news release.

“We’ve known all along that the government’s five conditions were political posturing instead of a real assessment of the risks and benefits for B.C. British Columbians aren’t stupid. Those conditions were never worth the paper they were written on.”

[SOURCE] 

Liberals Approve Trans Mountain, Line 3 Pipeline Projects

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference at the Francophonie Summit in Antananarivo, Madagascar, on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference at the Francophonie Summit in Antananarivo, Madagascar, on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

The Canadian Press | Nov 29, 2016

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau approved two major oil pipeline expansions Tuesday, including the deeply controversial Trans Mountain line through suburban Vancouver, while maintaining his government remains on course to meet its international climate commitments.

The announcement ends the new Liberal government’s year-long high wire act seeking to balance environmental stewardship and expansion of Canada’s resource economy.

“We are under no illusions that the decision we made today will be bitterly disputed by a number of people across the country who would rather we had made another decision,” Trudeau — flanked by a number of his senior cabinet ministers — told a news conference in Ottawa.

“We took this decision today because we believe it is in the best interests of Canada and Canadians.”

The Liberals have been setting the stage for pipeline approvals for months, highlighting environmental policy moves like a national carbon price while making the case that the jobs, economic boost and government revenues from fossil fuel exports are critical to the transformation to a low-carbon future.

It’s been a tough sell.

Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion has become a lightning rod for climate protests from coast to coast, with opponents from among Trudeau’s own caucus of Liberal MPs and his political ally, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.

Climate campaigners and indigenous groups immediately attacked the government decision as a betrayal, while B.C. Environment Minister Mary Polak issued an anodyne statement noting the province’s own environmental assessment of Trans Mountain continues.

The fight overshadowed quieter deliberations about Enbridge’s proposed replacement of Line 3, a half-century-old pipeline from Alberta to the United States that Trudeau approved Tuesday, effectively doubling its current working capacity.

Between the Trans Mountain and Line 3 expansions, the Liberals have cleared the way for exports of more than 1.1 million additional barrels of oil per day — and the production of between 23 and 28 million tonnes of additional greenhouse gases annually.

The Liberals hoped to leaven those numbers with Tuesday’s decision to permanently shelve the stalled Northern Gateway pipeline across northwestern B.C. and impose a promised oil tanker ban on the northwest Pacific coast.

But the prime minister also left the door open to more pipeline approvals, saying each project would be examined on its merits.

The “vital element,” said Trudeau, is the climate leadership of Alberta’s NDP government, which has imposed a 100-million-tonne cap on emission increases from the oil patch.

Trudeau said the Kinder Morgan approval, which includes 157 binding conditions set out by the National Energy Board, would create 15,000 new middle-class jobs.

“And as long as Kinder Morgan respects the stringent conditions put forward by the National Energy Board, this project will get built — because it’s in the national interest of Canadians, because we need to get our resources to market in safe, responsible ways, and that is exactly what we’re going to do,” he said.

Conservatives, however, immediately accused the government of providing less than half a loaf.

Interim Leader Rona Ambrose said the Liberals should have left Northern Gateway “on the table” and must now actively promote the other approved lines, particularly the beleaguered Trans Mountain expansion.

“I see very little prospect, politically speaking, that this pipeline will get built,” Ambrose said.

Alberta’s NDP premier Rachel Notley, who met Trudeau following the announcement, lauded the prime minister for his “extraordinary leadership” — crediting the Liberals for building the economy and moving forward aggressively on the environment while “understanding that you can do both at the same time.”

Notley called the Kinder Morgan approval “very good news for Albertans” at a difficult time for the province.

“It means that we can diversify our market, we can get our product to China and we can get more money for our product and we can enhance our economic independence not only in Alberta but all of Canada,” she said.

However, Tom Mulcair, leader of the federal New Democrats, said Trudeau “betrayed” British Columbians by breaking his “solemn promise” to never approve Kinder Morgan without redoing the Harper government’s flawed environmental review process.

“He still doesn’t even have a plan to deal with greenhouse gases after the Paris conference,” Mulcair said. “So, there’s no excuse for what he’s doing here today.”

Climate advocates such as Patrick DeRochie of Environmental Defence said the approvals raise “grave doubts” Canada can meet its international 2030 climate goals, and that much deeper emissions cuts will have to be made elsewhere in the Canadian economy.

Many indigenous leaders, with whom the Liberals have promised a new nation-to-nation relationship, were scathing.

“The struggle will simply intensify,” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of British Columbia Chiefs. “It will become more litigious, it will become more political and the battle will continue.”

There are no conditions under which the chiefs would have been willing to agree to the project, Phillip added.

“The risks are just too grave. The tanker traffic in Burrard Inlet will increase by 700 per cent and it’s inevitable that there will be a collision in a very congested inlet.”

Trudeau made a point of saying overall ship traffic in the inlet would increase by only 13 per cent, but critics said the government clearly lacks community approval for the decisions.

“He doesn’t have social license,” cracked the NDP’s Mulcair. “Heck, he doesn’t ever have a learner’s permit.”

Earlier Tuesday, the broad strokes of a year-long Liberal government effort to position the government between fossil fuel development advocates, indigenous groups and climate policy hawks played out during question period in the House of Commons.

Ambrose challenged Trudeau that it is not enough for the government to approve major pipelines; it must then “champion them through to the end” in order to see that they actually get built.

Mulcair, by contrast, accused the Liberals of a “Goldilocks approach” that has browbeat the Liberal party’s own environmentally conscious, anti-pipeline MPs into silence.

Trudeau was happy to claim the middle ground.

“One side of this House wants us to approve everything and ignore indigenous communities and environmental responsibilities,” he said.

“The other side of the House doesn’t care about the jobs or the economic growth that comes with getting our resources to market.”

The pipeline decisions follow weeks of Liberal government announcements designed to show it is serious about combating climate change, including an accelerated coal phase-out, a national floor price on carbon emissions starting in 2018 and $1.5 billion for ocean protection and spill clean-ups.

Trudeau confirmed Tuesday that he’ll be holding a first ministers meeting with provincial and territorial premiers as well as indigenous leaders on Dec. 9 in Ottawa, where the pan-Canadian climate plan will be the main focus of the agenda.

U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden will also be making a visit to Ottawa on Dec. 8-9 to meet with the first ministers — perhaps one last opportunity for the Liberals to showcase their environmental policy entente with outgoing President Barack Obama before president-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration in January.

[SOURCE]

US, Canada Native Groups To Join Dakota Access Pipeline Fight

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip signs the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion with other First Nations leaders during an announcement on oil sands pipelines, with special relevance for the Kinder Morgan and Northern Gateway proposals, at the Musqueam Community Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, September 22, 2016. REUTERS/Ben Nelms

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip signs the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion with other First Nations leaders during an announcement on oil sands pipelines, with special relevance for the Kinder Morgan and Northern Gateway proposals, at the Musqueam Community Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, September 22, 2016. REUTERS/Ben Nelms

Indigenous tribes form Alliance to stop oil pipelines

By Rod Nickel (Reuters) Sept 23, 2016

Winnipeg, Manitoba – A coalition of 75 U.S. and Canadian native groups that opposes expansion of North American oil production will join a U.S. tribe’s fight against the Dakota Access pipeline if tensions escalate, a regional Canadian chief said on Friday.

The Standing Rock Sioux oppose the 1,100-mile (1,886-km) pipeline being developed by Energy Transfer Partners LP, which they say threatens water supply and sacred sites.

An encampment in North Dakota against the $3.7 billion Dakota Access pipeline represents the largest Native American protest in decades and included one violent confrontation this month between protesters and security guards.

Proposed route for the Dakota Access Pipeline

Proposed route for the Dakota Access Pipeline

“I can tell you with great certainty that in the event there’s an escalation of aggression on the part of the state or [U.S.] federal government, there will certainly be a response on the Canadian side from indigenous peoples,” Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs said in a phone interview from Vancouver.

Phillip compared the potential for escalation in North Dakota to the 1990 Oka crisis, a land dispute between a Quebec town and a group of Mohawks that turned violent.

Indigenous supporters from Canada are already bringing supplies and financial donations to Standing Rock Sioux, which Phillip said he recently visited.

A First Nations signs the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion with other First Nations leaders during an announcement on oil sands pipelines, with special relevance for the Kinder Morgan and Northern Gateway proposals, at the Musqueam Community Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, September 22, 2016. REUTERS/Ben Nelms

A First Nations signs the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion with other First Nations leaders during an announcement on oil sands pipelines, with special relevance for the Kinder Morgan and Northern Gateway proposals, at the Musqueam Community Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, September 22, 2016. REUTERS/Ben Nelms

The Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion, made up of North American native groups that signed the treaty on Thursday, also opposes tanker and rail projects over environmental concerns.

Treaty Alliance is “absolutely” willing to illegally block construction of any pipeline proposals that proceed, including TransCanada Corp.’s Energy East pipeline across much of Canada and Kinder Morgan Inc.’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in Western Canada, he said.

There are no conditions under which the group would support a pipeline, Phillip said.

Chief Na'moks (John Ridsdale) of the Wet'suwet'en Nation listens to a speech during the signing of the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion during an announcement on oil sands pipelines, with special relevance for the Kinder Morgan and Northern Gateway proposals, at the Musqueam Community Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, September 22, 2016. REUTERS/Ben Nelms

Chief Na’moks (John Ridsdale) of the Wet’suwet’en Nation listens to a speech during the signing of the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion during an announcement on oil sands pipelines, with special relevance for the Kinder Morgan and Northern Gateway proposals, at the Musqueam Community Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, September 22, 2016. REUTERS/Ben Nelms

Canada is assessing pipeline proposals as the country’s energy-rich province Alberta reels from a crash in prices, partly due to insufficient means of moving oil to lucrative international markets.

In Canada, native groups are divided over pipelines, with some opposing them while others, who are producers themselves, want the energy industry to develop, said Perry Bellegarde, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, which takes no position.

SEE THE TREATY: HERE

[SOURCE]

NEB Approves Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

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By Red Power Media, Staff, May 19, 2016

NEB approves Kinder Morgan pipeline with 157 conditions

The National Energy Board is recommending the federal government approve the company’s more than $5-billion twinning of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

The announcement came down today (Thursday), after more than two years of hearings and a record number of intervenors participating.

The National Energy Board (NEB or the Board) issued a 533-page report recommending Governor in Council approve the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, subject to 157 conditions.

The 157 conditions include regulatory and/or overarching requirements as well as requirements pertaining to project engineering and safety; emergency preparedness and response; environmental protection; people, communities and lands; economics and financial responsibility; and, project-related marine shipping.

The NEB review included an environmental assessment, as per federal regulations.

The Trans Mountain Expansion Project proposes to expand the existing Trans Mountain pipeline system between Edmonton, AB and Burnaby, B.C., increasing the capacity of the existing Trans Mountain Pipeline System from 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 890,000 bpd.

The pipeline route from the Burnaby Mountain tank farm to the Westridge Marine Terminal is still not clear, as noted in the report. If Kinder Morgan can’t go through Burnaby Mountain, the line will likely run through the city’s Westridge neighbourhood.

The City of Burnaby has been fighting against the Trans Mountain pipeline for years and First Nations vow to kill the expansion with lawsuits.

Here are the main reasons the board said yes to the pipeline:

1.     Increased access for Canadian oil

2.     Hundreds of long term jobs, and thousands in construction

3.     Development for Indigenous communities

4.     Benefits from spending on pipeline materials

5.     Considerable government revenue

The board’s approval means the pipeline’s fate now rests with the Liberal cabinet, and the final decision will likely be announced in December.

Kinder Morgan has said construction will begin in 2017 and should be finished by 2019. The NEB says Kinder Morgan has until 2021 to start building the pipeline.

First Nations And Environmentalists Rally Outside Trans Mountain Hearings

 Two women sit outside the offices of the National Energy Board after locking themselves to the doors by placing bike locks around their necks, to protest the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, in Vancouver, B.C., on Monday January 18, 2016.DARRYL DYCK / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Two women sit outside the offices of the National Energy Board after locking themselves to the doors by placing bike locks around their necks, to protest the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, in Vancouver, B.C., on Monday January 18, 2016.DARRYL DYCK / THE CANADIAN PRESS

By Red Power Media, Staff

Hearings on the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion began in the Vancouver area today, despite calls from local politicians and protesters to halt the controversial review.

Protesters rallied outside the Delta Hotel in Burnaby today as the city of Surrey presented its case against Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

About a dozen people, mostly from the Dogwood Initiative and the Squamish First Nation, waved signs and offered their support to the intervenors who headed inside the National Energy Board hearings.

First Nations, environmental groups and municipalities are set to make their presentations on Kinder Morgan’s contentious US$5.4 billion plan to triple the current capacity of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline.

The hearings will continue over the next 10 days in Burnaby, B.C., before wrapping in Calgary next month.

City of Surrey lawyer Anthony Capuccinello opened arguments by reiterating the city’s firm opposition to the expansion. The city, about 45 kilometres east of Vancouver, is asking the board to require Kinder Morgan to decommission and remove the portion of the current pipeline that runs through Surrey as a condition of any approval it grants.

The project has been contentious in part because the energy board streamlined the review process to meet time limits set by the previous Conservative government. Interveners did not have the opportunity to cross-examine Kinder Morgan representatives and instead were required to send in written questions, of which the company answered only a portion.

Protesters have been calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to stop the review and implement promised changes to the process.

Anti Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline protesters outside a NEB hearing at the Delta Burnaby Hotel in Burnaby, January 19, 2016.

Anti Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline protesters outside a NEB hearing at the Delta Burnaby Hotel in Burnaby, January 19, 2016.

Trudeau promised on the campaign trail in June to engage in a “new open process” for all pipelines and in August said a Liberal overhaul of the process would apply to existing pipelines.

Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan has written Trudeau, asking the prime minister to put the review on hold while his government implements its promised changes.

The B.C. government announced last week it could not support the project because of concerns about spill response and aboriginal support, while the Alberta government issued its support because of the economic benefits.

RCMP responds with respect as BC Grand Chief Stewart Phillip crosses line on Burnaby Mountain