Tag Archives: Trans Mountain Expansion

Trans Mountain CEO says pipe construction could restart in 2019 on NEB timeline

CALGARY — The president and CEO of Trans Mountain Corp. says its sidelined pipeline project could be back on track by next year under a new National Energy Board hearing schedule, setting it up for a possible 2022 opening date.

The timeline unveiled by the federal pipeline regulator on Wednesday is “reasonable and fair,” said Ian Anderson, the former CEO of Kinder Morgan Canada who became head of the resulting Crown corporation when Ottawa closed its $4.5-billion purchase of the pipeline and its expansion project in early September.

He told reporters in Calgary it’s possible construction that was halted when the Federal Court of Appeal overturned the expansion project’s NEB approval in late August could be restarted in 2019.

“Sure, it’s possible,” he said. “If things go according to the timeline that’s been now started with the NEB and they have a recommendation by the middle of February and the government takes a few months for additional consultation, an order-in-council could be as early as next summer.”

He added construction is expected to take about 30 months, depending upon seasonal adjustments, which would mean the pipeline could be operational in 2022, about two years later than the most recent predicted in-service date.

The federal government approved the Trans Mountain expansion project in November 2016, following a recommendation by the NEB.

But the court cited insufficient consultation with Indigenous communities and a failure to assess the environmental impact of additional oil-tanker traffic in overturning that ruling.

Last week, the federal government ordered the NEB to go back and conduct a review of tanker traffic, paying special attention to the affect on killer whales, and issue its report no later than Feb. 22.

Environmentalists were quick to criticize the NEB’s schedule, which calls for public comments by next Wednesday on draft factors for the environmental assessment, the draft list of issues to be considered in the hearing and on the design of the hearing process itself.

Indigenous groups who are affected by the marine shipping issues but weren’t allowed to engage in the previous NEB process because of scope limits might have a difficult time preparing submissions in time, said Keith Stewart, senior energy strategist with Greenpeace Canada.

“Indigenous consultations are inextricably intertwined with review of marine impacts — orcas have important cultural significance — so charging ahead on this before sorting out the Indigenous consultation piece seems like a mistake,” he added.

Furthermore, the process is tainted by the fact that the government insists the project it now owns will be built no matter what, Stewart said.

The expansion will include a new pipeline running roughly parallel to the existing, 1,150-kilometre line that carries refined and unrefined oil products from the Edmonton area to Burnaby, B.C.

It will nearly triple the capacity to 890,000 barrels a day.

The NEB named Lyne Mercier, Alison Scott and Murray Lytle to the panel that will conduct its reconsideration of the project.

The Canadian Press




Kinder Morgan Serves Notice to Landowners on Pipeline Route

Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Expansion Project's Westeridge loading dock is seen in Burnaby, B.C., on Friday, Nov. 25, 2016. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion Project’s Westeridge loading dock is seen in Burnaby, B.C., on Friday, Nov. 25, 2016. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

Letters to be mailed to property owners along proposed route of Trans Mountain expansion

CBC News Posted: Feb 23, 2017

Kinder Morgan is beginning to issue letters to Burnaby, B.C. landowners whose property falls on the pipeline corridor, outlining how the project will utilize their land.

“One of the next steps in the process for us … is to get into more of the details of the route of where the pipeline will go,” said Ali Hounsell, spokesperson for Kinder Morgan “There’s about 60 parcels of land through Burnaby that the pipeline will go [through].”

The proposed route for the Kinder Morgan expansion pipeline is highlighted in green. The orange trail is an alternative route — which runs through a residential area.

The proposed route for the Kinder Morgan expansion pipeline is highlighted in green. The orange trail is an alternative route — which runs through a residential area.

Hounsell says the pipeline will not run through residential areas. Of the 60 parcels, a dozen are either commercial or industrial zones with the City of Burnaby owning the remainder.

“There are no individual homeowners who will be impacted by the new route,” said Hounsell. “The idea is that we are trying to minimize the disruption to individuals. Obviously, when we get to the construction phase, there will be some disruption.”

Opposed landowners

The notices are part of a draft document that was approved by the National Energy Board earlier this month. The plan requires Kinder Morgan to list the number of landowners that are affected by the project.

Anyone objecting to the use of their property can file a statement of opposition to the NEB, which could potentially reroute the corridor if the reason for the opposition is found to be justified.

But Hounsell says there are existing relationships between landowners along the corridor and Kinder Morgan.

Burnaby mayor Derek Corrigan says there's still a long fight ahead of the Kinder Morgan expansion project. (Simon Charland/CBC)

Burnaby mayor Derek Corrigan says there’s still a long fight ahead of the Kinder Morgan expansion project. (Simon Charland/CBC)

But, Burnaby remains opposed to the project with Mayor Derek Corrigan saying the route remains “offensive.”

“They are now looking at going through the Burnaby Mountain conservation area, which is not a good alternative as far as we’re concerned,” said Corrigan. “It will have a significant impact on our conservation and park area.”

Corrigan is also challenging the notion that no residential areas will be adversely affected by the property.

“There is no way that they can bring this pipeline through a very dense urban area and not have an impact on residents in general, and some residents in particular.”

Upcoming roadblocks

Burnaby has appealed the the NEB’s approval of the project, and will argue their case in the Federal Court of Appeal. Meanwhile, the City of Vancouver is in the process of requesting its own judicial review of the B.C. government’s approval of the project.

“There [are] still significant hurdles for Kinder Morgan to achieve before this project moves ahead,” said Corrigan.

The company says it will attempt to mend its fractured relationship with the city.

“We continue to make efforts to reach out to them, and we’re hopeful and optimistic — now that the pipeline is approved — to be able to sit down and have these kind of working relationships,” said Hounsell.


Kinder Morgan Braces For Standing Rock-Type Protests

Native Americans march to a sacred burial ground that was disturbed by bulldozers building the Dakota Access Pipeline, on Sept. 4 near Cannon Ball, N.D. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

Native Americans march to a sacred burial ground that was disturbed by bulldozers building the Dakota Access Pipeline, on Sept. 4 near Cannon Ball, N.D. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

Energy company already talking to RCMP about security, months before next pipeline might be approved

By Kyle Bakx, CBC News Posted: Nov 05, 2016

A person only has to read a few of the stories about the Standing Rock protest or see some of the pictures and videos to get a sense of the hostile stalemate over the construction of the new Dakota Access pipeline.

The protests in North Dakota began small and peaceful, but grew in support and captured the attention of the continent.

The tension continues to escalate as protesters chant, wave flags and set fires, while police have used rubber bullets, mace and Tasers.

‘It’s concerning because these aren’t rocket scientists or engineers who were shutting down these pipelines, they are everyday people.’— Michael Tran, RBC Capital Markets

The emotional conflict could move north across the border next year if Kinder Morgan receives provincial and federal approval to construct its Trans Mountain Expansion oil pipeline through parts of Alberta and British Columbia.

Even though the project may not go ahead, the Texas-based energy company is already bracing for the sizable security effort it may need. Installing nearly 1,000 kilometres of pipeline around mountains, rivers and other terrain is a challenge in itself, let alone co-ordinating contractors and hundreds of workers with protestors at the door step.

Pipeline activism is rising and Kinder Morgan knows it.

“I’d be naive if I didn’t expect that,” said CEO Ian Anderson told reporters recently in Calgary. “Hopefully, it’s peaceful. People have the right to express their views publicly and in that regard, we will accept and acknowledge that.”

“It’s when it goes beyond that that we’ll have to be prepared,” he added.

Dakota Access pipeline protesters confront law enforcement on Oct. 27, near Cannon Ball, N.D. (Caroline Grueskin/The Bismarck Tribune/Associated Press)

Dakota Access pipeline protesters confront law enforcement on Oct. 27, near Cannon Ball, N.D. (Caroline Grueskin/The Bismarck Tribune/Associated Press)

Meetings with RCMP

The preparations involve meeting with law enforcement.

“We’ve been in deep conversations with policing authorities, RCMP in the planning for our project — what can we anticipate and what their role needs to be,” said Anderson.

The RCMP, for its part, won’t provide any detail about those arrangements. Instead, it’s emphasizing its role as an impartial party.

“We will plan for any and all circumstances to ensure police and public safety.” said Sgt. Annie Linteau with the Lower Mainland District RCMP as part of an emailed statement. “We make every effort to ensure [protestors] understand where they can safely protest so their message will be heard.”

Kinder Morgan's Ian Anderson is anticipating protests if the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline is approved

Kinder Morgan’s Ian Anderson is anticipating protests if the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline is approved

Kinder Morgan has faced criticism from politicians such as the mayors of Burnaby and Vancouver and from some First Nations who do not feel they have been adequately consulted about the $6.8 billion project. Some First Nations also feel they have a veto right, although Ottawa dismissed that notion this week. As with most oil and gas development, there are concerns about the impact on the environment.

Fences and security cameras have become commonplace at pipeline facilities in recent years, but they have not deterred people from breaking in.

Several tampering incidents took place in Ontario over the last year. Last month, up to five major pipelines carrying Canadian oil were shutdown in the U.S. after a co-ordinated effort by an environmental protest group. The Standing Rock protests in North Dakota continue to the point U.S. President Barack Obama has suggested the pipeline may have to be moved.

Protesters square off against police between the Standing Rock Reservation and the North Dakota Access Pipeline route, outside the little town of Saint Anthony, N.D. on Oct. 5. (Terray Sylvester/Reuters)

Protesters square off against police between the Standing Rock Reservation and the North Dakota Access Pipeline route, outside the little town of Saint Anthony, N.D. on Oct. 5. (Terray Sylvester/Reuters)

Kinder Morgan is watching the situation closely because of how the protest suddenly gained massive momentum across North America.

The pipeline in B.C. won’t fly under the radar.

“There’ll be localized impacts, there will be regional effects and national and international focuses, so we’re preparing for all of those both from a security and safety standpoint,” said Anderson.

“They’ll look for soft spots in the system and it’s my job to make sure there aren’t any.”

Social media factor

The increase in pipeline protests and their severity is because of social media, according to some industry watchers such as Michael Tran, director of commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets. Tran grew up in the industrial West Coast community of Kitimat, B.C., but now lives in New York.

He suggests events such as Occupy Wall Street, China’s ‘umbrella revolution’ and, to an extent, the Arab Spring were disorganized and didn’t have a specific goal in mind. The pipeline protests, such as the efforts made last month to shut down major pipes, are much more focused.

“It was probably two or three people who organized the protest and it went viral on social media and all of a sudden you had several people hop fences, had bolt cutters and guys who turned valves,” he said.

“It started as something relatively benign in terms of protest, to actually growing to something where you are physically doing something to shut down flow.”

The protest group said it planned for months to ensure there wouldn’t be an inadvertent oil spill or explosion. Tran suggests an alarming conclusion from the event was that it didn’t require much sophistication.

“It’s concerning because these aren’t rocket scientists or engineers who were shutting down these pipelines, they are everyday people,” he said.

All of this is front of mind for Kinder Morgan, while it waits for federal approval next month and an environmental certificate from B.C. shortly after. If it receives the green light, the company expects the governments, along with other proponents such as other First Nations and business groups, to support the project throughout construction and help counter the opposition.


Whether realistic or not, some officials are hopeful the fate of the pipeline won’t be as polarizing as is expected.

“We have had a very good working relationship along that route with First Nations as well as with the company,” said B.C. Deputy Premier Rich Coleman about the Trans Mountain Expansion. “I look forward to hopefully something that everyone can work with and be happy with when the federal government does make its final decision.”

The recent spike in protest activity would suggest otherwise and that’s why detailed security planning is already underway well before the project receives a federal government decision to be approved or not.

In May, the National Energy Board recommended the multi-billion dollar pipeline be constructed if 157 conditions are met, including 49 environmental requirements. The NEB described the requirements as achievable for the company.



Trudeau Attacked From All Sides Over Pipeline Stance

Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Justin Trudeau in the House of Commons. Photo from PMO

Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Justin Trudeau in the House of Commons. Photo from PMO

April 12th 2016

This article was originally published by nationalobserver.com

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government was criticized from all sides on Tuesday in response to a published news report that alleged he had instructed key officials to prepare a strategy to approve major new pipeline projects.

While opposition Conservative MPs criticized Trudeau in the House of Commons for not doing more to cheerlead for the oil and gas industry, a leading climate change scientist and several environmental groups reacted to the news with disbelief.

John Stone, a former climatologist with Environment Canada, and vice-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Working Group II, said that building more pipelines is scientifically incompatible with meeting Canada’s climate change commitments.

“If you build a pipeline, you’re going to fill it with tar sands that’s going to increase our emissions and that’s not going to allow us to meet our climate change commitments,” said Stone, in an interview with National Observer.

He said it was impossible to burn the fossil fuel reserves currently available and meet the government’s objective of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Industry woes

Canadian industry advocates have said that new pipelines are now more important than ever to help them reach new markets and compete with other producers from around the world. They say the needs are particularly pressing for Alberta’s oilsands producers, which face higher costs to extract oil compared to most of their competitors.

The industry has been hammered in recent months and some tens of thousands of workers have lost jobs in Alberta since the fall of 2014 when global oil prices began to plummet. The bad economic news continued on Tuesday with Calgary-based Cenovus, a major oilsands producer, announcing that it was eliminating 250 jobs as it completed a wave of layoffs.

But environmental groups, who have warned about the consequences of rising heat-trapping carbon pollution from the industry, say new pipelines – such as Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion project to British Columbia and TransCanada Corp’s cross-country Energy East project – are not the solution.

“I think ultimately the thing I can’t get my head around is why they think these pipelines make any economic sense,” said Adam Scott, climate and energy program manager for Environmental Defence.

“If you look right now, there’s very little economic case for the construction of these projects.”

Coy and shy

In the Commons, Conservative MPs, led by natural resources critic Candice Bergen, attacked Trudeau for not doing more to promote more oil and gas expansion. Bergen also suggested that some of Trudeau’s advisors should not be trusted since have publicly taken strong positions that show they care about the environment.

“The people in Alberta are looking for a government that will proudly stand up for Canadian oil and gas, not act coy and shy when it becomes convenient for it,” Bergen said.

Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr responded in the Commons by stressing the importance of improving market access for producers and slamming the federal Conservatives for suggesting that projects should be approved without a federal review.

“The prime minister has said there is no contradiction between building wind turbines and pipelines,” Carr said. “He has said it is a principal responsibility of the government of Canada to move our natural resources to market sustainably. That is why we are following a process that will consult with Canadians and give people the chance to understand that in this day and age we develop the economy sustainably with one eye on the environment and the other on job creation. That is the way we will move forward sustainably.”

The criticism followed a column published by the National Post on Monday that reported the prime minister has ordered staff to draw up plans to push the pipelines through.

Finance minister Bill Morneau and others in cabinet convinced Trudeau that the pipelines must be built to achieve the government’s ambitious economic growth targets, John Ivison reported in the National Post.

Government won’t prejudge any project

Following a morning federal cabinet meeting, Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna dismissed the National Post report, without explicitly denying it. She noted that the government had already announced new measures to improve the review process for pipeline projects, including efforts to improve consultations with all affected communities and First Nations peoples and a review all evidence.

“For the projects that are already under review, we have a process – a process where we will make decisions based on the facts and evidence. This includes pipelines,” she told reporters. “So I don’t know where this (National Post) story came from, but it’s not what our process is.”

McKenna said the government won’t prejudge any project. It understands that resources need to get to market, she said, but recognizes that this will only happen if it’s done in a sustainable manner.

“I don’t get the feeling that we have to do this fast. We have to do this with a process that respects science and evidence. And we must take the time to evaluate each project and that’s what we’ll do.”

B.C. and Quebec unlikely to support pipeline development

Last week, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley told the province in a televised plea for approval of Energy East that every Canadian benefits from a strong energy sector.

“But we can’t continue to support Canada’s economy unless Canada supports us. That means one thing: building a modern and carefully regulated pipeline to tidewater,” Notley said.

She also stressed that her government had introduced a comprehensive climate change plan that would introduce an economy-wide carbon tax, shut down the province’s coal power plants, and set a limit on the annual carbon pollution allowed from oilsands producers – Canada’s fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions.

“We now have a balanced framework to develop our industry, and every government in Canada understands this issue must be dealt with. We must get to ’yes’ on a pipeline.”

Scott said it’s unlikely either British Columbia or Quebec would support pipeline development and the federal government would face a challenge to win their support.

“I don’t know how they’re going to get either of those governments onside when there’s overwhelming opposition to both projects in those provinces.”

From Quebec, Steven Guilbeault, co-founder of the environmental group, Equiterre, wrote on his Facebook page: “If the contents of this article are true, the Trudeau government will find an awful lot of people on his trail, and I will be one of those.”

The Quebec group, along with Toronto-based Environmental Defence and the Alberta-based Pembina Institute are co-hosting a reception, Thursday night on Parliament Hill, with McKenna, the federal environment minister.

The purpose of the reception is to “celebrate a new era of climate change in Canada” as well as a new alliance between the three environmental groups.

Public trust

Graham Saul, executive director of Ecology Ottawa said that if the allegations in the National Post column are accurate, it would “fundamentally undermine” the “sincerity of the Trudeau administration when it comes to climate change and environmental integrity.”

Saul’s non-profit group – a group opposed to TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline – sent out letters to all local Ottawa-area Liberal MPs on Tuesday, including McKenna, who represents the Ottawa Centre riding.

The letter asked the Liberal MPs to publicly deny the allegations in the National Post column to reassure Canadians that the government hadn’t already made up its mind to approve new pipelines.

“If true, this initiative brings into question the sincerity of the federal government’s statements regarding its intention to apply a meaningful climate test to fossil fuel expansion, and to ensure that the environment is adequately taken into consideration,” Saul’s letter read.

Trudeau’s government has pledged to help Canada move toward a low-carbon economy. He has also said that the country must make strategic investments in clean growth and new infrastructure, while continuing to “generate wealth from our abundant natural resources to fund this transition to a low-carbon economy.”

As well, Trudeau gave Carr a mandate letter last November with instructions that noted that the federal government had a “core responsibility” to help get Canadian resources to market.

“But that is only possible if we achieve the required public trust by addressing environmental, Indigenous Peoples’, and local concerns,” Trudeau told Carr in the mandate letter.

Melina Laboucan-Massimo, Climate and Energy campaigner with Greenpeace Canada, said if Trudeau wants to be a climate leader, he can’t approve more pipelines.

“I think Trudeau has a big job ahead of him if he actually wants to act on what he’s saying, and what he has said, and what he was actually elected upon.”


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