Mark Jaccard on anti pipelines, anti coal train, anti fracking

The Global Tragedy of the Commons’. 8pm, Tuesday, November 26

Upcoming speech by Mark Jaccard at 8pm on Nov. 26th at Hycroft focusing on the adverse impacts of the coal trains, pipelines and fracking:

The University Women’s Club of Vancouver at Hycroft, 1489 McRae Avenue, 604 731-4661

Tickets $8 for students, $13. non members

To book tickets online: www.uwcvancouver.ca

Mark Jaccard on anti pipelines, anti coal train, anti fracking

Upcoming speech by Mark Jaccard at 8pm on Nov. 26th at Hycroft focusing on the adverse impacts of the coal trains, pipelines and fracking: ‘The Global Tragedy of the Commons’. 8pm, Tuesday, November 26 The University Women’s Club of Vancouver at Hycroft, 1489 McRae Avenue, 604 731-4661 Tickets $8 for students, $13. non members To book tickets online: www.uwcvancouver.ca
Sponsors
University Women’s Club

We’ve had it with these guys

Port Metro Vancouver wants you to believe transporting U.S. coal for export to Asia through the backyards of Lower Mainland families won’t have any adverse effects on your health, but a team of physicians who studied the impacts of coal storage and transportation over a two-year period discovered significant impacts on people’s hearts, lungs and brains.

Those sound like adverse effects to us. If you agree, we want the port to hear from you.

The port has shut the public out of decisions around coal exports and is now shutting out our top health officials. Chief medical officers for Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health called for a comprehensive and independent health impact assessment of the Fraser Surrey Docks coal export proposal, but the port and Fraser Surrey Docks refused to work collaboratively with the medical officers.

These health officers say the port’s environmental impact assessment does not meet “even the most basic requirements of a health impact assessment.” If the port was truly acting in the public interest, it would come clean about how the proposal could threaten our health.

It’s time to stand with our health officers and tell Port Metro Vancouver our health matters.

The port has opened up their environmental impact assessment of the Fraser Surrey Docks coal expansion proposal for public comment until Dec. 17. We need your help flooding the port with personal messages about why their assessment just isn’t good enough.

Please let the port know how you feel about their bogus assessment and ask them to comply with our chief medical officers:

http://dogwoodinitiative.org/beyondcoal/our-health-matters

Here are just a few of the assessment’s shortcomings:
The assessment primarily repackages existing data that health and air quality experts had already judged to be inadequate.

The scope of the port’s assessment is limited and focuses solely on what happens within the boundaries of the Fraser Surrey Docks terminal. It does not assess impacts of coal transportation on White Rock, Surrey, Delta, Texada Island and the waters and islands along the coastal shipping route.

The assessment does not consider the end-use greenhouse gas emissions and climate change impacts of coal shipped to Asia.
Unless the port can go back to the drawing board and comply with the demands of our medical officers, study the full scope of impacts and conduct proper consultation with full public hearings, it should deny the Fraser Surrey Docks permit application and stop any further coal expansion.

Please, submit your comment now.

Thanks for making a difference,

Laura Benson
Beyond Coal Campaign Director

P.S. On Wednesday we learned Port Metro Vancouver didn’t even send a copy of the assessment to White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin and that his municipality was barely acknowledged in the report. He said he’s just had it with these guys. If you feel the same way, submit your comment now.

Enbridge seeking run-of-river project on B.C. fish-bearing stream

A numbered company owned by Enbridge, proponent of the Northern Gateway pipeline project, wants to build a major run-of-river power project on the same fish-bearing B.C. river where an earlier such project was rejected on environmental grounds.

A report by Canadian Projects Ltd. for 8056587 Canada Inc. — owned by Calgary-based Enbridge — notes that the proposed 120-megawatt Clore River run-of-river project would be located about 60 kilometres southeast of Terrace.

The river would be diverted through a 6.4-kilometre tunnel and then through a penstock (water pipeline) for the remaining 1.1 kilometres to a powerhouse before being returned to the river. A new 47-kilometre 230-kilovolt transmission line will be required to connect the project to the existing BC Hydro electrical grid.

The report, dated July 2012, notes that chinook salmon, Dolly Varden trout, rainbow trout, and mountain whitefish are thought to live in the Clore River. “Fish screens or other design considerations may be required in order to avoid entrainment or other impacts to fish should they exist.”

The plan is to have project approvals by mid-2014 and the project operational in 2016, the report said, noting the watershed is located within the traditional territory of the Haisla, Skin Tyee, and Kitselas first nations.

Pat Moss, coordinator of Friends of Wild Salmon in Smithers, said the involvement of Enbridge “goes to show that the risks they pose to this region are more than just oil spills and it further illustrates the lack of transparency we have come to expect from the company.”

The Clore River has important fisheries values and is highly valued by northwest residents,” said Moss, adding: “I predict this proposal will be rejected too.”

The waterway was the subject of an earlier controversial run-of-river proposal by C-Free Power Corp.

The company officially withdrew its plan after learning that “productive fish habitat is present throughout the entire length of the Clore River and that no barriers to migration exist,” project manager Lillian Zaremba said in a Feb. 4, 2009, letter to the province and others.

“We believe in developing only environmentally and socially responsible projects and will not pursue projects that create negative impacts on the environment or communities.”

Enbridge spokesman Ivan Giesbrecht confirmed Enbridge has received a licence to carry out investigative assessments into the feasibility of a run-of-river project on the Clore River.

“We have been notified by groups in the area that a project of this nature may have an impact on fish species … and we are in communications with these groups to better understand their concerns …” he said.

Enbridge has steadily increased its investments in “clean energy projects, growing our renewable energy assets from virtually nothing to almost $3 billion in just 12 years,” including wind, solar, geothermal and hydro projects, he said.

The interim findings of a Pacific Salmon Foundation study of 44 run-of-river projects released earlier this month found that up to 73 per cent have the potential to impact fish in the upper reaches and closer to 88 per cent in the lower reaches. “There is only one facility that does not have salmonids present …” said foundation president Brian Riddell, in reference to salmon, trout and char species.

lpynn@vancouversun.com

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

Length of B.C. oil spills investigation raises questions

Two small spills on Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline in British Columbia have triggered an investigation by the National Energy Board that is still going on six months after the incidents occurred.

The length of the investigation into the spills that appeared minor at the time has prompted questions about whether the incidents were larger than reported, or whether it points to a potentially bigger problem with the structural integrity of the 60-year-old pipeline. Kinder Morgan, however, disputes both.

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Map: See Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline system and expansion plans
The investigation was confirmed this week in an e-mail from Rebecca Taylor, an NEB spokesperson, to David Ellis, a Vancouver bookseller who has become one of the pipeline’s fiercest critics.

“The NEB is currently conducting a thorough investigation of this incident,” Ms. Taylor wrote in response to his questions about the two spills near Hope that leaked six barrels and 25 barrels of oil respectively.

“We understand this issue is of public concern and are working diligently to share this information when it is available,” wrote Ms. Taylor. “We cannot provide exact timelines for completion of our investigation. As with any in-depth review, the NEB will take the time required to conduct a thorough evaluation.”

Mr. Ellis said Thursday it is clear the NEB is doing more than look at two small leaks.

“My gut feeling is … that basically they keep digging up the pipe and they find it is all rotten,” said Mr. Ellis, who 10 months before the spills predicted the pipeline was going to start leaking because of its age.

“He is certainly entitled to his views,” said Ms. Taylor who, in an interview, confirmed her e-mailed comments. She would neither confirm nor deny Mr. Ellis’s suspicions.

“It takes some time to go through the material and obviously the company is still working on the remediation,” she said. “The board takes the time it needs to assess cause and contributing factors … of what led to these product releases.”

The two leaks occurred June 12 and June 26, briefly shutting down the only pipeline that delivers oil across British Columbia to the West Coast. After the leaks, the NEB issued a safety order requiring the company to reduce pressure in the line.

Andy Galarnyk, a Kinder Morgan spokesman, said Mr. Ellis’s fears that the leaks were larger than reported, or that the incidents signal an inherent weakness in the line, are unfounded.

“The estimates of oil released remain unchanged (6 barrels Kingsvale and 20-25 barrels Coquihalla),” he stated in an e-mail. “We take every incident seriously and continue to work closely with our regulator and other government agencies to ensure that clean up requirements are met at this site and that it will be reclaimed to its original condition.”

Mr. Galarnyk said although the pipeline was built in the 1950s it remains in good shape because of Kinder Morgan’s continuing maintenance and inspection procedures.

“Inline inspections, anomaly investigation and repair, Cathodic protection, control room monitoring, aerial and ground patrols, and our Damage Prevention and Public Awareness Program, are all part of Kinder Morgan’s pipeline safety program,” he wrote. “We remain confident of the pipeline’s ability to continue to safely and efficiently deliver product to our customers for many years to come.”

Kinder Morgan has been under increased scrutiny in B.C. because the company is proposing to twin the pipeline to increase capacity from 300,000 barrels a day to 890,000 barrels a day. The pipeline runs 1,150 kilometres from Alberta to waterfront facilities in Burnaby.

Harper government officials, spies meet with

Government spies and energy stakeholders met in Ottawa yesterday to discuss issues of national security, including the monitoring of environmental organizations and activists.

Harper government’s extensive spying on anti-oil sands groups revealed in FOIs
This meeting is the second of bi-annual “classified briefings” held at CSIS headquarters in Ottawa, bringing together federal agencies, spies, and private industry stakeholders with high level security clearances, including officials from energy companies in the oil, natural gas, pipeline, petroleum refinery and electricity sectors.

The last briefing was held on May 23 and was sponsored by Enbridge, Brookfield and Bruce Power.

In attendance at prior briefings were representatives from the RCMP, CSIS, NEB, DND (Department of National Defence) and also the Communications Security Establishment (CSEC), a federal agency that spies mainly on foreigners by hacking into their computers, reading their email and intercepting their phone calls. It was reported last month in documents released by whistle blower Edward Snowden that CSEC has spied on computers and smartphones affiliated with Brazil’s mining and energy ministry in a bid to gain economic intelligence.

The purpose of the classified briefing is to provide intelligence to select energy representatives, while encouraging the private sector to brief the Canadian Intelligence and law-enforcement community on issues that they would not “normally be privy to”.

“From my experience, these briefings provide an excellent forum to build the relationships required to assist the RCMP within its investigations” writes Tim O’Neil, RCMP Senior Criminal Research Specialist in an email sent in advance of a 2012 briefing.

The energy sector representatives all possess at least a Level II (Secret) Security Clearance. There are three levels of clearance, as defined by the Policy of Government Security: Confidential (Level I), Secret (Level II) and Top Secret (Level III).

Documents published earlier this week reveal the cooperation of the RCMP, CSIS and the National Energy Board in the gathering of intelligence on oil sands opponents, including advocacy organizations and First Nations groups.

“These are legitimate spokespersons, relating concerns that people have on the environmental impacts of Conservative and industry plans”, said Liberal MP Joyce Murray, who suggests that these actions are part of an intimidation campaign by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his government.

The documents, 140 pages of emails and operations plans from December 2012 to April 2013, show Richard “Rick” Garber, the NEB’s “Group Leader of Security” overseeing the cooperation of RCMP, CSIS and private energy companies.

In a list of 2011 briefing attendees obtained last night, Garber is identified as a representative of DRDC, an agency of Canada’s Department of National Defence (DND).

Click on image to enlarge.

DRDC provides DND, the Canadian Armed Forces and other government departments as well as the public safety and national security communities, “the knowledge and technological advantage needed to defend and protect Canada’s interests at home and abroad,” according to DRDC’s website.

The National Energy Board, Canada’s independent federal regulator of pipelines, responded yesterday to reports of intelligence gathering on opponents to the proposed developments.

In a statement from NEB CEO Gaétan Caron, he acknowledges that the NEB may work with local officials and federal colleagues such as “the RCMP in the interests of safety for the public hearings, NEB Board Members, staff and the general public.”

It has raised concerns in Parliament that the collection of intelligence on Canadians is happening without parliamentary oversight, and potentially, with partisan influence and outside the confines of the law.

CSIS is overseen by the independent Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC). SIRC is currently chaired by former Conservative cabinet minister Chuck Strahl. Disgraced committee member Dr. Arthur Porter, who was appointed by Stephen Harper in 2008, is currently in a Panamanian jail facing a range of charges, from money laundering, to taking kickbacks and conspiracy to commit fraud.

Both the National Energy Board and Security Intelligence Review Committee are supposed to function free of government collusion, but parliamentarians say they believe that the Harper government has instructed, or at least influenced the agencies in this case.

MP Megan Leslie, deputy opposition leader and environmental critic is outraged. “It’s not appropriate for the government to be giving these instructions”.

She feels that they have influenced the NEB either by direct instructions or in creating a fear-based culture within the independent agency.

“The National Energy Board is supposed to be a neutral agency,” said Liberal MP Joyce Murray.

“Of the three members on the NEB Joint Review hearing panel, one is handpicked by the government, with the second holding a power of veto,” she continued, noting that two out of the three panel members are either selected or endorsed by government.

“This is unprecedented,” says Murray, “and now they are potentially instructing the NEB to collect private information and we have no way of knowing if it is being used counter to the law or not.”

Harper government’s extensive spying on anti-oilsands groups revealed in FOIs

The federal government has been vigorously spying on anti-oil sands activists and organizations in BC and across Canada since last December, documents obtained under the Access to Information Act show. Not only is the federal government subsidizing the energy industry in underwriting their costs, but deploying public safety resources as a de-facto ‘insurance policy’ to ensure that federal strategies on proposed pipeline projects are achieved, these documents indicate.

Before the National Energy Board’s Joint Review Panel hearings on the proposed Enbridge oil pipeline, the NEB coordinated the gathering of intelligence on opponents to the oil sands. The groups of interest are independent advocacy organizations that oppose the Harper government’s policies and work for environmental protections and democratic rights, including Idle No More, ForestEthics, Sierra Club, EcoSociety, LeadNow, Dogwood Initiative, Council of Canadians and the People’s Summit.

Click on image to enlarge

Mandated as an ‘independent federal agency’, the NEB directed the police protection of their board members and officials from Enbridge and TransCanada Corporation, 140 pages of emails from December 2012 through April 2013 show.

In the emails, Richard “Rick” Garber, the NEB’s “Group Leader of Security”, marshals security and intelligence operations between government agencies and private interests, and says in a January 31, 2013 email that the NEB “Security Team has consulted today with Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) at national and regional levels; RCMP at national, regional and local levels.”

Click on image to enlarge

“The Security Team, together with our police and intelligence partners, will continue to monitor all sources of information and intelligence,” he says.
The documents show the NEB working with CSIS and the RCMP to make “security plans” for the Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna and Prince Rupert hearings and actively coordinating with officials from Enbridge and TransCanada Corporation and a private security contractor hired by the NEB.

They also show Garber asking Sgt. Steinhammer of the Prince Rupert RCMP to provide a visible uniformed presence during the hearings there to deter “illegal activities.”

Click on image to enlarge

Sustained opposition to pipelines noted, especially in BC
On April 20, 2013, an email entitled “Security Concerns – National Energy Board” was sent to integrated security officials, and stressed the continued protection of NEB and private interests. The memo was from Tim O’Neil, Senior Criminal Intelligence Research Specialist with the RCMP, and then circulated to the NEB and associated stakeholders by Garber.

“There continues to be sustained opposition to the Canadian petroleum and pipeline industry,” O’Neil said. “Opposition is most notable in British Columbia, with protests focused on the: Enbridge Northern Gateway; Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion; the increasing use of hydraulic fracturing, and proposed LNG facilities. Opponents have used a variety of protest actions (directed at the NEB and its members) to draw attention to the oil sands’ negative environmental impact, with the ultimate goal of forcing the shutdown of the Canadian petroleum industry.”

O’Neil then ordered the escalation of RCMP and CSIS intelligence measures following the opening of an SPROS/SIR database file. According to the Government of Canada, SPROS is the new National Security Program’s primary database for the electronic storage, retrieval and management of national security criminal investigations and information, and on a required basis, classified criminal intelligence and other sensitive cases.

“It is highly likely that the NEB may expect to receive threats to its hearings and its board members,” O’Neil, said. However, in the same memo he states that there is “no intelligence indicating a criminal threat to the NEB or its members” and “I could not detect a direct or specific criminal threat.”
In closing, O’Neill advises recipients to discuss their concerns with the security officials at the National Resources May 23rd classified briefing.

“What is particularly chilling about the Harper administration’s approach is the conversion of government agencies to private spy agencies for private sector corporations,” Green Party Leader, Elizabeth May said, upon learning about the emails. “What is unacceptable is the marginalization, demonizing, and threat of criminalization of healthy debate in a democracy.”

On May 23, 2013, Natural Resources Canada hosted a ‘Classified Briefing for Energy & Utilities Sector Stakeholders’ in collaboration with CSIS and the RCMP at CSIS’s headquarters in Ottawa.

Click on image to enlarge

The briefing has occurred twice annually since 2005 and its stated purpose is to discuss national security and criminal risks to critical energy infrastructure. Attendees include government officials, federal ministries, law enforcement agencies and energy stakeholders with high-level security clearances. These meetings have been described as an opportunity for government officials and companies to exchange information “off the record” and form “ongoing trusting relationships” in the protection of national energy infrastructure.

An agenda obtained by Tim Groves and Martin Lukacs at The Guardian last month revealed that breakfast, lunch and coffee was sponsored by Enbridge and a networking reception held at the Chateau Laurier was co-hosted by Bruce Power and Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners. Meetings during this conference included “challenges to energy projects by environmental groups.”

Given proof of CSIS and RCMP intelligence resources being afforded to the NEB, and evidence of disclosure across the private sector, it is undetermined how much information is being provided to corporations such as Enbridge and TransCanada Corporation, and to what extent international entities such as CNOOC are also benefiting.

Since coming to power, Conservative prime minister, Stephen Harper, has used his government apparatus to serve a natural resources development agenda, the Guardian recently wrote, “while creating sweeping domestic surveillance programs that have kept close tabs on indigenous and environmental opposition and shared intelligence with companies.

“Harper has transformed Canada’s foreign policy to offer full diplomatic backing to foreign mining and oil projects, tying aid pledges to their advancement and jointly funding ventures with companies throughout Africa, South America and Asia.”

The National Energy Board has no spying mandate, according to its website, but serves to function as a regulatory agency over the gas and oil industry, answering to Parliament and the Canadian people.

Correction: a previous version of the article attributed the May 22, 2013 agenda to have been obtained by the CBC. It was obtained by The Guardian and provided to CBC afterward.

Burnaby politicians slam NEB for cancelling local Kinder Morgan pipeline info sessions

Burnaby politicians are worried their constituents are being shortchanged by the National Energy Board’s decision to cancel further public information sessions into Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

The NEB has opted instead to have concerned citizens sign up for online Q-and-A presentations.

Burnaby-Douglas NDP MP Kennedy Stewart said he is already hearing from people disappointed at the news and is worried that the online forum could exclude older, less tech-savvy residents who live on or near the route of the proposed expansion.

“They started to do these and they are extremely useful because you have back-and-forth between the staff and the citizens — there are six NEB staff there, experts on environment and engineering, and they’re very, very useful,” said Stewart, referring to the public session he attended last week in Edmonton.

He said he is concerned Burnaby may not get any NEB hearings on the project, noting that a previous public hearing on a commercial tolling operation in the area took place in Calgary.

Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan said the online-only sessions send the wrong message to his community, which has many people in it who already feel the project favours the applicant.

“One of the things that happens when you do it online is you keep people in isolation from other people who may have opinions,” Corrigan said, adding that people won’t be able to meet others of like mind at these online sessions and then organize further resistance or support for the project.

“It doesn’t bode well for the next process.”

After announcing the nine B.C. dates last week, the NEB cancelled the sessions Tuesday, stating that “we have decided that hosting a single information session in a centralized location is not the best way to reach people.”

The web-based presentations will open in late November and will allow people to add their questions before and during the sessions.

The information sessions are happening before a wider consultation process with registered interveners goes ahead in the coming months. Stewart said he wants to find out how citizens can register as interveners in what is “usually a very short window for people to sign up to participate.”

The Harper government’s 2012 changes to the NEB act were preceded by complaints that environmentalists had “hijacked” the Northern Gateway process.

Houston-based energy giant Kinder Morgan, which owns the only outlet for Alberta crude to get to the west coast, plans to file with the NEB in December its full application to nearly triple the daily capacity of the pipeline to 890,000 barrels from the current 300,000 barrels.

Kinder Morgan had no comment on the upcoming information sessions, spokeswoman Lexa Hobenshield said last week, but is in the process of finalizing its formal application to the NEB.

“As you can appreciate, there are a number of reviews we need to go through, so I think we’re just being careful,” she said.

mhager@postmedia.comwww.twitter.com/MikePHager

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

What’s in a pipeline alters the risk

What’s in a pipeline alters the risk

Elizabeth James / North Shore News
November 13, 2013 12:00 AM

“Although Kinder Morgan has conducted inspections for stress corrosion cracking on [its] Cochin Pipeline in Western Canada through inline inspection. .. the [National Energy] Board has previously deemed the crack detection methodology employed by Kinder Morgan to be inappropriate.”

NEB Letter and Order SO-K077-005-2012

When debating the merits of pipelines versus railcar transport, did you notice on Kinder Morgan’s website that its Trans Mountain pipeline
currently carries crude oil, semi-refined and refined products along the same pipeline?

That fact had escaped me until Vancouver-based activist David Ellis brought it to my attention as I began this column.

And here I’d been thinking a pipeline would be safer than the derailments we’ve seen across the country this year.

Ellis is concerned because, as he travels on business throughout British Columbia, he often drives miles alongside a pipeline most of us don’t even know exists.

The increased risk posed by what KM calls “batching” becomes clearer when you consider the volatility of refined oil products.

Spilled crude oil might burn for a long time but Ellis believes our chief concern should be the explosion-potential of refined product.

“As far as I know, Trans Mountain is the only pipeline in North America that carries both refined product and crude oil in batches,” he said.

So bearing in mind that Canada’s National Energy Board “requires companies to take effective actions to prevent the occurrence of leaks
and ruptures,” where does NEB stand on the history and operational practices of Texas-based Kinder Morgan Energy Partners? The answer is particularly relevant to the B.C. portion of KM’s Cochin line.

On Aug. 2, 2013, NEB recorded that on June 12 and 26, six months after it had conveyed its 21 Dec. 2012 orders to KM, the company had
“identified and reported two separate leaks” on its Trans Mountain pipeline in B.C.

Although the products are corrosive, especially in a 60-year-old pipeline, such leaks are usually found at failed weldingseams along the
line.

The current spillsite is approximately 40 kilometres north of Hope, B.C. and the photographs I received from Ellis last week paint a disturbing picture of the cleanup that remains a work in progress.

Initially thought to be a spill of about 25 barrels – 4,000 to 5,000 litres – by the end of October Trans Mountain had shipped more than
5,000 cubic metres of contaminated soil to Richmond, for remediation by the Tervita Corporation.

The company discovered and reported the problem in the course of performing the inspections it was carrying out in compliance with the
NEB’s 2012 directives.

Nonetheless, the discovery was a disturbing confirmation of the NEB belief that the company’s traditional inspection protocols left much to be desired. That’s because neither KM nor passersby have any idea how long the “batched” contaminants had been seeping into the surrounding environment.

As Ellis asked, “What might have happened during our long, hot summer, had someone tossed a live cigarette-butt into a ditch full of refined oil alongside the highway?”

And speaking of pipelines in ditches, open for all to see – what about the NEB requirement that pipelines should not be exposed in such a way as to leave them vulnerable to tampering or vandalism?

For me, however, the Aha! moment came when I read that, in May 2007, KM had concluded a $50-million deal to acquire the Canadian portion of the Cochin pipeline from the BP group, thus increasing its interest from around 40 per cent to full ownership.

That resonated with me because, as I wrote in a June 2010 column, BP workers had predicted that “years of corporate costcutting and inattention to safety measures and routine maintenance would lead to pipeline and other disasters.”

The largest disaster, of course, happened on April 20, 2010 when the BP-operated Transocean oil rig exploded, killed 11 workers and began to spill 5,000 barrels of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico. Many suggested the event could have been prevented by the installation of a recommended $500,000 acoustic remote-control shut-off device.

At the time, President Barack Obama suggested the precautions were ignored because “the oil industry [had] enjoyed far too cosy. .. ties
with government regulators.”

A third and startling NEB communication suggests that this is not the case here.

Giving a whole new meaning to the slogan Call Before You Dig, Letter and Order KAR-001-2013 was delivered to BC Hydro on Feb. 4, 2013.

The letter listed 10 occasions between May 2008 and November 2012 when Hydro and/or its sub-contractors had excavated or otherwise violated the safety zone adjacent to a pipeline. The incidents included ones in Burnaby, Surrey, Hope, Kamloops and Valemount without notice to or permission from the pipeline company involved. A miscalculation at any of these sites had the potential to create a forest fire or a Lac Mégantic-size disaster right here in B.C.

One way or another, the regular spills and disasters Canadians have witnessed this year suggest that, at some level, the billiondollar oil industry still regards million-dollar fines and spill cleanup expenses as the cost of doing business.

Regulatory agencies like the NEB lack the funding and human resources to be everywhere at once. They have little option but to rely on the foxes to protect the hen house.

So whether we prefer pipelines or rail to transport our oil and gas products, we need to make sure industry is never allowed to come
anywhere close to developing political or regulatory cosy ties.

My thanks to David Ellis, his Alberta counterpart Evan Vokes and to the NEB’s Rebecca Taylor for the signposts they offered to speed up my understanding of this complex topic.

District of West Vancouver Motion Re: Kinder Morgan

District of West Vancouver Motion Passed July 2012

Kinder Morgan Proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

WHEREAS:

1. West Vancouver recognizes that:

. Oil exploration, development and export is in the National interest;

. The current Kinder Morgan operation is essential to regional interests;

. The proposed Kinder Morgan expansion is principally an export strategy that will result in a fivefold increase of tanker traffic past, and at anchor off, West Vancouver shoreline;

. West Vancouver, through its Foreshore Head Lease, has stewarded its pristine marine environment for over 30 years; and

.Kinder Morgan is, as noted in their July 11, 2012 letter to Mayor and Council, committed to undertake a full technical, environmental and public engagement program with the facilities application scheduled for late 2013;
NOW THEREFORE Council resolves as follows:

1. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Mayor write to the Prime Minister, the Premier, the Federal and Provincial Ministers of the Environment, the National Energy Board, and the President of Kinder Morgan expressing West Vancouver’s strong opposition to any increase in oil tanker traffic through the Port of Vancouver; and due to significant unacceptable risks to West Vancouver’s economic, social, and environmental well being;

2. Kinder Morgan be obligated to:
. demonstrate the mitigating measures in place for any oil spill that would reach West Vancouver shores or marine life;
. indemnify West Vancouver for the amount equal to the projected clean-up of a worst case oil spill, should the National

Energy Board approve this strategy;

. identify the impacts of increased ship size and numbers in relation to the compromise to foreshore protection efforts arising from ship wash;

. identify how increased ship passing, and in waiting, by West Vancouver shore line will mitigate the discharge of grey water, and heavy diesel particulate.

3. West Vancouver’s MP and MLAs be encouraged to ensure a provincial strategy is developed before any oil exportation operation of this magnitude is proposed for any export outlet in British Columbia;

4.This report be shared with Metro municipalities and that staff continue to monitor and report on the public review and regulatory approval process being advanced by Kinder Morgan for the proposed expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline.