Tag Archives: Pipelines

‘We want to be owners’: Fort McMurray First Nations and Métis unite on pipelines

The Fort McMurray regions’s 10 First Nations and Métis community say they want to be pipeline owners. (Terray Sylvester/Reuters)

‘Let’s move on and let’s start building a pipeline and start moving the oil’

First Nations and Métis communities in the Fort McMurray region are expressing interest in becoming business partners in the pipeline industry.

The indigenous communities want to either buy a stake in the Trans Mountain pipeline or partner and build another future line.

“We want to be owners of a pipeline,” Allan Adam, chief of Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, said in an interview. “We think that a pipeline is a critical component to the oil and gas sector, especially in this region.”

“If Fort McMurray and Alberta are going to survive, the Athabasca Tribal Council has to be alongside.”

Adam, a board member with the Athabasca Tribal Council, an umbrella organization that represents the regions’s five First Nations, admitted, the details still need to be worked out.

Ron Quintal, president of the Athabasca River Métis, the organization that represents five Métis communities in the region, confirms it too is on board with the proposal.

But, Quintal said, he expects they would need backers to help guarantee loans to help fund the multi-billion dollar project.

Tired of fighting oil companies

The announcement happened on the heels of the groups’s meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the basement of a Fort McMurray hotel on Friday.

Participants say it was the first time region’s Cree, Dene and Métis communities met together with the head of the federal government. Typically such high level meetings don’t take place together.

Allan Adam, chief of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, says the Fort McMurray region’s First Nation and Métis communities back pipelines and they want to own one. (The Canadian Press)

Also in the background is the uncertainty over the fate of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion which would ship bitumen from Alberta to the B.C. coast.

On Sunday, Kinder Morgan announced it will halt “non-essential activities” and related spending on the project and set a May 31 deadline to decide whether the project will proceed. The company declined to comment for this story.

Premier Rachel Notley said the May deadline is a serious concern and suggested Alberta may become a co-owner in the pipeline’s construction.

The announcement from Adam is a change in position for the chief who is no stranger to pipeline opposition. The chief has posed with celebrities and activists critical of the oilsands’ environmental legacy.

Most recently, Adam was pictured with Hollywood actress Jane Fonda who described the oilsands on a 2016 trip to Fort McMurray as if “someone took my skin and peeled it off my body over a very large surface.”

Adam denied he was ever anti-pipeline or against the oilsands, rather the chief said he is critical of the feverish pace the oilsands developed without environmental considerations.

But, Adam also admitted fighting oil companies and industry has been tough and it’s time for a change.

“The fact is I am tired. I am tired of fighting. We have accomplished what we have accomplished,” Adam said. “Now let’s move on and let’s start building a pipeline and start moving the oil that’s here already.”

Archie Waquan, chief of the Mikisew Cree First Nation, also supports a pipeline partnership.

“No disrespect to the other First Nations that are against the pipeline in B.C.,” Waquan said.

“From our end — from this northern territory where the oilsands comes from — we would like to see more things happen and hopefully this will go ahead.”

Ultimately we are the keepers of the land

The region’s Métis communities say their Indigenous pipeline ownership would help alleviate the roadblocks the oil and gas infrastructure have been facing lately.

Elaborating, Quintal said, First Nations and Métis would provide ease of access for the pipeline route on their traditional territory.

Also, he said, Indigenous owners would take the upmost care to ensure the pipeline route would avoid sacred or sensitive areas and the infrastructure is maintained to the highest standards to prevent spills.

Chiefs and heads of the Athabasca Tribal Council and the Athabasca River Métis Council pose after a meeting Tuesday at Fort McMurray’s Raddison Hotel where they announced they are willing invest in pipelines. (David Thurton/CBC)

“From our perspective, the Métis have always for the most part been pro-pipeline,” Quintal said. But, “I am not saying that it’s an open book or a blank cheque for the industry to develop pipelines.”

“Ultimately we are the keepers of the land and it is of the upmost importance that lands are protected as much as possible.”

Quintal also said, Indigenous owners behind a pipeline, might also lend credibility that could quell some of the opposition.

This article was originally published by David Thurton  · CBC News · Posted: Apr 15, 2018

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Keystone XL, Line 3 and Trans Mountain ‘More Vital Than Ever’ as Energy East Cancelled: Analyst


An analyst says the shelving of TransCanada Corp.’s Energy East pipeline means it’s more vital than ever that three other pipelines to oil export markets proceed as planned.

AltaCorp Capital analyst Dirk Lever said Friday that Canadian producers will have to transport any new oil production over the next year or so using railcars because the pipelines leaving Western Canada now are essentially full.

He said the next capacity increase is expected to come with Enbridge Inc.’s Line 3 replacement project, which is under construction and will add 370,000 barrels per day of capacity to the United States by early 2019.

But that additional room will only just accommodate new output from oilsands expansions and the situation will remain tight until the Trans Mountain expansion pipeline to the West Coast proposed by Kinder Morgan is in service, which is expected to add 590,000 barrels per day by late 2019.

TransCanada hasn’t yet approved its Keystone XL pipeline into the U.S., but Lever said its 830,000-barrel-per-day capacity will likely provide enough room for Canadian oil production growth until about 2030, when the industry expects Canadian production to reach five million barrels per day.

He said Energy East could come off the shelf if any of the other pipelines don’t go ahead, or if market conditions change to encourage higher production growth.

The Canadian Press

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Treaty Alliance Vows to Fight Other Projects After TransCanada Ends Energy East Pipeline

A group of First Nations leaders who formed to fight pipeline projects across Canada says they will continue their push to stop three other pipelines now that the TransCanada Energy East pipeline is dead.

TransCanada made the announcement Thursday.

The Treaty Alliance Against the Tar Sands, made up of 150 First Nations across Canada and the United States, says it will now focus its sights on Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion, Enbridge’s Line 3 and TransCanada’s Keystone XL.

“Both the Northern Gateway fight and this Energy East one show that when First Nations stand together, supported by non-Indigenous allies, we win,” Mohawk Council of Kanesatake Grand Chief Serge Simon said in a release sent Thursday. “So that’s two tar

“So that’s two tar sands expanding mega-pipelines stopped in their tracks but it will be a hollow victory if Indigenous opposition and serve as an outlet for even more climate-killing tar sands production.”

Energy East had been proposed as a way to move Alberta oilsands production as far east as an Irving Oil operation in Saint John, N.B.

Supporters say Energy East was necessary to expand Alberta’s markets and decrease its dependency on shipments to the United States. Detractors raised questions about the potential environmental impact.

Calgary-based TransCanada had announced last month that it was suspending its efforts to get regulatory approvals for the mega projects.

It will now inform the federal and provincial regulators that it will no longer be proceeding with its applications for the projects.

“After careful review of changed circumstances, we will be informing the National Energy Board that we will no longer be proceeding with our Energy East and Eastern Mainline applications,” CEO Russ Girling said in a statement.

He added that TransCanada will also withdraw from a Quebec environmental review.

The premiers of Alberta and New Brunswick say they’re disappointed by TransCanada’s cancellation of the Energy East pipeline, which would have connected their two provinces.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says her government has always supported Energy East because of the new jobs, investments and markets it would create.

New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant also said Energy East would have been good for his province’s economy and generated future revenue for his government.

The Opposition Conservatives are tearing a strip off the Liberal government over TransCanada’s decision to cancel the Energy East pipeline project.

Deputy Tory leader Lisa Raitt is blaming the decision squarely on what she described as the “disastrous” Liberal policies of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The Treaty Alliance is warning the governing Liberals, and premiers, that before megaprojects are built, consent of First Nations is needed.

“This is yet another lesson to government and industry that you can’t hope to build any project without the consent of First Nations, and certainly not a destructive mega-project like Energy East,” said Ghislain Picard, Regional Chief for the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec-Labrador on behalf of the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion.

“Whether they like it or not, governments and industry can’t ignore us anymore.”

APTN National News

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TransCanada Won’t Proceed With Energy East Pipeline

The pipeline would have transported more than a million barrels of oil every day. (Reuters)

Pipeline company opts to kill 2 eastern-based energy projects

TransCanada says it won’t proceed with its Energy East pipeline and Eastern Mainline proposals.

Russ Girling, the Calgary-based energy company’s chief executive officer, said in a statement that National Energy Board and Quebec officials will be informed TransCanada won’t go forward with the applications.

“We appreciate and are thankful for the support of labour, business and manufacturing organizations, industry, our customers, Irving Oil, various governments, and the approximately 200 municipalities who passed resolutions in favour of the projects,” Girling said in a release.

“Most of all, we thank Canadians across the country who contributed towards the development of these initiatives.”

The proposed Energy East project would have carried more than one million barrels of oil every day from Alberta and Saskatchewan across the country to be refined in Quebec and New Brunswick and then exported. It would have added 1,500 kilometres worth of new oil pipelines to an existing network of more than 3,000 kilometres, which would have been converted from carrying natural gas, to carrying oil.

The company says it will take a $1-billion charge to write down the project on its books in its next quarterly results. But the full price tag for the project would have been much higher, with some estimates at as much as $16 billion.​

The company first proposed the project in 2013, when oil prices neared $100 a barrel. But the project’s future had come in doubt since then as the economics changed, and regulatory and environmental hurdles started piling up.

As recently as last month, TransCanada suspended its application to the National Energy Board (NEB) and hinted it might decide not to pursue the project in light of the regulator’s new, tougher review process.

TransCanada shares were slightly higher on Thursday, an indication that investors weren’t surprised by the news, considering TransCanada announced last month it would undergo a “careful review” of the process.

“We were not assigning much of a probability of the project proceeding as scheduled,” TD Bank analyst Linda Ezergailis said in a note to clients after the cancellation was announced.

Energy East was an oil pipeline, but the Eastern Mainline project, which was also killed on Thursday, would have transported natural gas along the north shore of Lake Ontario.

New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant said in a statement that the company’s decision not to move forward with Energy East is “not good news” for those who wanted to see the pipeline built, including the provincial government.

“Like many New Brunswickers, we are disappointed. The project would have created jobs in New Brunswick and helped the Canadian economy,” Gallant said.

His counterpart in Alberta, Premier Rachel Notley, echoed those sentiments, saying, “We are deeply disappointed by the recent decision from TransCanada. We understand that it is driven by a broad range of factors that any responsible business must consider. Nonetheless, this is an unfortunate outcome for Canadians.”

The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association expressed its disappointment with the decision, and blamed governments for forcing the company’s hand.

“The loss of this major project means the loss of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars for Canada, and will significantly impact our country’s ability to access markets for our oil and gas,” CEPA said.

“Pipelines are the only viable way to move large quantities of oil and natural gas to markets, safely and responsibly. With global demand for energy expected to rise and extensive supply potential in Western Canada, Canada will be missing out on a significant economic opportunity if governments do not see value in pipeline projects such as Energy East.”

CBC News Posted: Oct 05, 2017

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How to Fight A Pipeline: Dakota Access Battle offers Blueprint for Protest

The tactics used in North Dakota — resistance camps, prominent use of social media, online fundraising — are now being used against several projects.

Staff – Red Power Media | April 08, 2017

Prolonged protests in North Dakota have failed to stop the flow of oil through the Dakota Access pipeline, at least for now, but they have provided inspiration and a blueprint for protests against pipelines in other states.

The months of demonstrations that sought to halt the four-state pipeline have largely died off with the February clearing of the main protest camp and the completion of the pipeline, which will soon be moving oil from North Dakota to a distribution point in Illinois.

Four Sioux tribes are still suing to try to halt the project, which they say threatens their water supply, cultural sites and religious rights. But they’ve faced a string of setbacks in court since U.S. President Donald Trump moved into the White House.

Despite the setbacks, Dakota Access protest organizers don’t view their efforts as wasted. They say the protests helped raise awareness nationwide about their broader push for cleaner energy and greater respect for the rights of indigenous people.

“The opportunity to build awareness started at Standing Rock and it’s spreading out to other areas of the United States,” said Dave Archambault, the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, which has led the legal push to shut down the pipeline project.

As protesters left the area in southern North Dakota where the Dakota Access pipeline crosses under a Missouri River reservoir that serves as the tribes’ water supply, organizers called on them to take the fight to other parts of the country where pipelines are in the works.

The tactics used in North Dakota — resistance camps, prominent use of social media, online fundraising — are now being used against several projects. They include the Sabal Trail pipeline that will move natural gas from Alabama to Florida; the Trans-Pecos natural gas pipeline in Texas; the Diamond pipeline that will carry oil from Oklahoma to Tennessee; and the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline that will move natural gas from Pennsylvania to Virginia.

They’re also being used against projects that are still in the planning stages, including the proposed Pilgrim oil pipeline in New York and New Jersey and the proposed Bayou Bridge Pipeline in Louisiana.

Dakota Access opponents have also vowed to fight against the resurgent Keystone XL pipeline, which would move crude oil from Canada to Nebraska and on to Texas Gulf Coast refineries.

“A big part of our message was not just to nationalize the fight against Dakota Access, but to highlight regional issues that people are facing,” said Dallas Goldtooth, an organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network. “To use our momentum.”

The influence of the Dakota Access protest is evident in various forms. For example, some who protested in North Dakota have gone to Texas and Florida to help with those demonstrations, according to Goldtooth. The Red Warrior Society, a pipeline protest group that advocated aggressive tactics in North Dakota, is promoting resistance in other states via social media.

There are nearly a dozen accounts on the GoFundMe crowdfunding site seeking money to battle the Sabal Trail and Trans-Pecos pipelines. The Society of Native Nations, which is fighting the Trans-Pecos, used the protest camp model from North Dakota to set up a camp in Texas, according to Executive Director Frankie Orona.

“I really believe this momentum is going to stay alive,” said Orona. “Standing Rock was the focal point, was the root of this movement. If we learned anything from Standing Rock, it’s the power of unity. It wasn’t one (tribal) nation — it was more than 400.”

Hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of Dakota Access opponents congregated at the main protest camp for half a year, often clashing with police to draw attention to their cause. More than 750 people were arrested between early August and late February, when the camp was closed in advance of spring flooding season.

The prolonged protest garnered widespread and consistent attention on social media, and it has filtered down, to some degree, to the pipeline protests elsewhere. That has elevated activists’ concerns from local demonstrations to a national stage, according to Brian Hosmer, an associate professor of Western American history at the University of Tulsa.

“Social media makes it more difficult to shut off the camera,” he said. “In some way, they’re their own reporters and they don’t need the networks to report it. Social media connects the tribe; it now connects all of these separate groups.”

For now, the energy industry and its allies say they’re unconcerned.

The Dakota Access movement wrote the new playbook for pipeline opponents, but it might be less effective under Trump, said Craig Stevens, spokesman for the MAIN Coalition, a group of agriculture, business and labour entities that long spoke in favour of the pipeline. Trump approved its completion shortly after taking office and he has taken other steps favourable to the fossil fuel industry while rolling back Obama-era environmental protections.

U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer, a North Dakota Republican who has advised Trump on energy issues, said pipeline developers have learned to prepare for resistance, and he thinks the anti-pipeline movement will fade if protesters fail to achieve their goals and get discouraged.

Juliana Schwartz, senior campaigner for Change.org, which helps people and groups advance causes, disagrees, saying the environmental protest movement appears to be strong. A “people against pipelines” page on the group’s website recently listed 16 petitions related to energy projects — mostly pipelines — in more than half a dozen states, with nearly 725,000 supporters.

“The broader movement to stop resource extraction has taken inspiration from (Dakota Access),” Schwartz said. “I think we can expect to see this trend continue as more and more communities feel that their safety and health is under threat due to the president’s support of the fossil fuel industry over marginalized communities.”

Article written by Blake Nicholson, published in the Associated Press, on April 2, 2017

Contributing to this story were Associated Press writers Justin Juozapavicius in Tulsa, Oklahoma; David Warren in Dallas; Dave Kolpack in Fargo, North Dakota; and Ken Miller in Oklahoma City.

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