NEB Provided Kinder Morgan with $136 million to fund Trans Mountain Pipeline Application

City of Burnaby News Release

June 30, 2014

For immediate release

The City of Burnaby has received a shocking study that reveals that the National Energy Board provided Kinder Morgan with a pre-approved $136 million war chest to push its new pipeline through Burnaby. The company passes those costs on to consumers, and faces no risk.

The study, by economist and former ICBC CEO Robyn Allan, examines previous NEB hearings into Kinder Morgan’s application to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline and tank farm, and investor statements, and confirms that Kinder Morgan received NEB approval in 2011 to charge a $1.45/barrel surcharge on oil shipped through the existing pipeline to fund the current application.

Under the arrangement, Kinder Morgan is allowed to collect a “Firm Service Fee” from shipper oil companies to amass the $136.3 million earmarked for Kinder Morgan’s pre-development costs. The Firm Service Fee averages $1.45 per barrel of oil (which converts to approximately one cent per litre in added gasoline costs).1

The study then points out that in ‘tolling hearings’ in 2012-13 on this project (where public intervenors were excluded), Kinder Morgan confirmed that all costs for the present application were being paid out of the Fee, with no additional costs to Kinder Morgan or proposed shippers. Allan points out that Kinder Morgan Canada President Ian Anderson later explained the deal to his investors by stating that if “the project doesn’t succeed or we don’t get the permits, all the development costs are being covered by the Firm service fees that we are collecting so there is no risk there to us.”

Allan states that the NEB approved fund is generating “deep pockets” for Kinder Morgan, and “effectively enables a financially unconstrained advancement of Kinder Morgan’s interests.” The risk instead is borne by the communities along Kinder Morgan’s chosen route. “Consumers are funding the security for Kinder Morgan investors, but where is the funding for people whose homes, schools, and businesses are at risk?” says Allan. “They didn’t get $136 million to protect their interests.”

Mayor Corrigan says: “This is shocking and unfair. The NEB approved this agreement in advance, and is now sitting in judgment of the resulting application. The NEB has authorized only $1.5 million dollars for all other intervenors. How fair is that?” The Mayor notes: “The company gets their costs paid by the consumer, but Burnaby and our citizens have to pay our own costs to protect ourselves. The integrity of the National Energy Board is seriously compromised here. It appears they have already made up their mind.”

Kinder Morgan applied for NEB approval of the Firm Service Fee in November 2010, and was given approval in December 2011. Two years later, Kinder Morgan applied to the NEB for approval of a new pipeline routed through Burnaby, a tripling of the oil storage capacity in the City, and a new marine terminal capable of increasing oil tanker traffic from five to 34 tankers per month. The public was not allowed to participate in the 2010/2011 hearings or in the 2012/13 tolling hearings.

-30-

For more information:
Mayor Derek Corrigan, City of Burnaby
604-294-7340

Robyn Allan,
1-604-962-4160
Robyn Allan’s study is available at: www.robynallan.com

Energy company Kinder Morgan used service fee for pipeline fund

Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan says he’s shocked by a report that claims the National Energy Board authorized a special fee that allowed Kinder Morgan to build up a $136-million “war chest” to pursue expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

The report by Robyn Allan, an independent economist who has been critical of large energy projects in B.C., was released Sunday and was given in advance to the City of Burnaby, which is fighting to stop the pipeline expansion.

The report states that in an unprecedented ruling in 2011 the NEB agreed to let Kinder Morgan start charging a “firm service fee” of $1.45 for each barrel of oil shipped from its West Coast facility. That fee was intended to raise funds from five major shippers to pay for pre-development costs on the Trans Mountain expansion project.

In a brief statement, Kinder Morgan defended the fee, saying it is working within the guidelines of the NEB and is faced with significant costs in preparing its application.

“Development of a project such as the Trans Mountain expansion entails significant study and environmental and engineering work such that Kinder Morgan and its customers are collectively sharing the development cost risk for the project,” said company spokesman Andrew Galarnyk in an e-mail. “The commercial terms for the project were previously approved by the National Energy Board.”

But Mr. Corrigan said it is “shocking” that the NEB approved the deal, which he feels gives the proponent an unfair advantage. “Her coming out with this information was really quite surprising to me,” he said of Ms. Allan’s report. “I never thought for a moment that this was the way they were operating – that in essence there was a no risk proposition for the private sector in regard to making this kind of application.”

He said the NEB’s impartiality has been brought into question by the deal. “Imagine if big companies were coming in to do zonings [in Burnaby], to make a lot of profit in our city and we were giving them the authority to tax our community to make their rezoning applications,” Mr. Corrigan said. “Who would think for a moment that our consideration could be fair under those circumstances if we’d already made up our mind that they are not going to have to accept any risk?”

Mr. Corrigan noted that the NEB has a relatively small amount of funding – about $1-million – set aside for interveners, and the imbalance of Kinder Morgan having $136-million is upsetting to people.

“They feel the game is rigged, that the favouritism for the multinational corporations that are imposing their will is significant,” Mr. Corrigan said. “To make the odds 136 to one, I mean you get better odds as the long shot in the Kentucky Derby.”

Ms. Allan said she was researching Kinder Morgan’s financial capabilities when she came across the NEB ruling granting the company permission to pre-fund its expansion application through a fee. “The normal course of business when companies want to undertake major capital investments is their shareholders take the risk,” she said. “[But] it’s really Canadians who are bearing the costs of this application.”

Ms. Allan said she doesn’t think any such pre-funding arrangement has ever been made before by the NEB.

The NEB could not be reached for comment on Sunday.

“The approval of Kinder Morgan’s firm service fee by the Board was precedent setting,” Ms. Allan’s report states. “The NEB effectively granted Kinder Morgan a right to guaranteed shipper surcharges in order to build a regulatory approval process ‘war chest’ available to the pipeline company to draw on, when and as needed, to fund capacity expansion applications for its Trans Mountain pipeline system.”

Ms. Allan is a former CEO of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia. In recent years she has issued several financial reports critical of oil pipelines in B.C. and of development of the Alberta oil sands.

Supreme Court’s Tsilhqot’in First Nation ruling a game-changer for all

The Supreme Court decision on Thursday granting the land claim of a B.C. First Nation is not only a game-changer for many aboriginal communities across the country, but also for the government and the resource industries.

First Nations ‘ecstatic’ over historic Supreme Court ruling

Visit CBC Aboriginal

The unanimous ruling granted the Tsilhqot’in First Nation title to a 1,700-square-kilometre area of traditional land outside its reserve, marking the end of a decades-long battle.

But it also clarified major issues such as how to prove aboriginal title and when consent is required from aboriginal groups, which will affect negotiations on major projects such as the Northern Gateway pipeline.

The traditional territory in question is located to the south and west of Williams Lake and Alexis Creek in B.C.’s Interior. (CBC)

“This is a case of national significance and national importance, bulletproof in its legal reasoning,” says Bill Gallagher, a former treaty rights negotiator and author of Resource Rulers.

While it was heralded among First Nations as a “game-changer” and one of the most important Supreme Court decisions, others warn that it will further complicate approval for resource projects such as Northern Gateway.

Here’s a look at who is affected by the ruling and how.

Tsilhqot’in First Nation

First and foremost, the Tsilhqot’in First Nation is celebrating a major victory for itself.

The battle began in 1983 when B.C. granted a logging licence on land southwest of Williams Lake in the province’s Interior that served as the Tsilhqot’in Nation’s traditional hunting land outside the boundaries of the reserve.

The area in question is sparsely populated, with 200 of the 3,000 Tsilhqot’in people living there.

Chief Francis Laceese, of the Tl’esqox First Nation, stands in front of a poster showing opposition to the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline during a news conference Thursday in Vancouver after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in favour of the Tsilhqot’in First Nation. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

Lower courts disagreed on whether the semi-nomadic Tsilhqot’in Nation, a group of six aboriginal bands, had title to lands. The Supreme Court said they do and laid out for the first time how to determine whether a First Nation can prove title.

The Supreme Court decision not only granted title to the Tsilhqot’in, but found the province breached its duty to consult with the First Nation before approving the logging licence.

Even without a declared land title, the province must consult with aboriginal groups about uses of the land in dispute and accommodate their interests, the top court said.

Hundreds of claims in B.C.

Across most of Canada, indigenous people signed land treaties with the Crown that gave up their claim to land in exchange for reserves and other promises. But for the most part, that didn’t happen in British Columbia.

There are hundreds of indigenous groups across British Columbia with unresolved land claims. That means the Tsilhqot’in win sets a precedent that many others in the province will be watching closely.

“There are many, many other First Nations in B.C. that will read this court case, get their lawyers in the room and rightly say, ‘How close to this set of facts is our set of facts?’” said Gallagher.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, said the ruling marks an opportunity to ‘participate in the economic future of this province as equal partners.’ (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

“Some will be quite close and some will not be remotely close, but for those First Nations that are close, they will be able to use this as a precedent.”

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said the ruling marks the start of a “genuine dialogue of reconciliation that has eluded us for so long.”

“I truly believe a rising tide carries all boats,” said Phillip. “And in that regard we have an opportunity to participate in the economic future of this province as equal partners.”

Meanwhile, the B.C. Justice Department said the province is studying the legal implications of the decision.

Implications for the rest of Canada

The ruling is also likely to have implications in other parts of the country, particularly in Quebec, through the East Coast and in areas where land treaties don’t exist.

Veteran aboriginal rights lawyer James O’Reilly believes the high court’s ruling could be applied to 40 per cent of Quebec’s territory.

“I think it has wide sweeping consequences … for virtually every set of negotiations with aboriginal nations in Quebec,” he said.

O’Reilly has spent decades working on First Nations claims in Quebec, from the Cree on James Bay to Innu along the northeastern shore of the St. Lawrence River, and he said about nine groups are currently involved in land claim negotiations.

The decision could also encourage more bands to assert their rights. However, the Supreme Court ruling focuses on lands still in use for traditional purposes such as hunting and fishing, meaning it likely rules out most developed parts of the province.

In the East Coast, it’s a different set of circumstances, but one that could lead to the same result.

The Crown often asked for “peace and friendship” treaties, an agreement aimed at ending hostilities. Gallagher notes the British were “massively outnumbered” and thus more concerned with co-operation than settlements.

Fifteen years ago, the Supreme Court ruled on those treaties and found that they didn’t settle land ownership issues on unceded land, said Gallagher. Thursday’s ruling by the top court sets a precedent for those claims as well.

“It’s now open to those First Nations to make those assertions,” said Gallagher.

Industry groups and government

The high court’s decision is expected to further complicate approvals for resource projects such as the $7-billion Northern Gateway pipeline proposal by Enbridge to move Alberta crude oil to the B.C. coast. That proposed route crosses no less than four territorial claims.

‘This is not merely a right of first refusal with respect to Crown land management or usage plans.’
—Supreme Court of Canada ruling
The Supreme Court decision states that the government has a duty to consult and accommodate First Nations even as the land claim is underway.

“This clarification really changes everything across the country,” said Pamela Palmater, a Mi’kmaq lawyer with the Centre for Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University. “So, it’s not just about the duty to consult anymore, this really changes it to a requirement to get consent over all unceded territory in this country.”

Now that the top court has established the Tsilhqot’in First Nation’s aboriginal title on the land in dispute, it has the right to determine “the uses to which the land is put and to enjoy its economic fruits,” the court said.

“This is not merely a right of first refusal with respect to Crown land management or usage plans,” the ruling written by Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin said. “Rather, it is a right to proactively use and manage the land.”

If the First Nations group does not consent, the government can only go against its wishes if it proves it’s justified under the Constitution.

The ruling also said that once title is established, it may be necessary for the government to reassess its prior conduct in light of its new obligations. For example, if it starts a project without consent, it may be required to cancel the project if it would be “unjustifiably infringing.”

“It means that if you’re a miner or a forester or a B.C. hydro transmission company or a pipeliner, that the legal landscape … has shifted,” said Gallagher.

Gallagher stresses that if industries want to exploit resources on First Nations land, “We have to realize that they lie in the traditional territories of the most disadvantaged communities in the country.

“And they have been massively empowered by this ruling … and their expectations have just increased exponentially.”

Top Court’s Tsilhqot’in First Nation Ruling A Game-Changer For All

The Supreme Court decision on Thursday granting the land claim of a B.C. First Nation is not only a game-changer for many aboriginal communities across the country, but also for the government and the resource industries.

The unanimous ruling granted the Tsilhqot’in First Nation title to a 1,700-square-kilometre area of traditional land outside its reserve, marking the end of a decades-long battle.

But it also clarified major issues such as how to prove aboriginal title and when consent is required from aboriginal groups, which will affect negotiations on major projects such as the Northern Gateway pipeline.

“This is a case of national significance and national importance, bulletproof in its legal reasoning,” says Bill Gallagher, a former treaty rights negotiator and author of Resource Rulers.

While it was heralded among First Nations as a “game-changer” and one of the most important Supreme Court decisions, others warn that it will further complicate approval for resource projects such as Northern Gateway.

Here’s a look at who is affected by the ruling and how.

Tsilhqot’in First Nation

First and foremost, the Tsilhqot’in First Nation is celebrating a major victory for itself.

The battle began in 1983 when B.C. granted a logging licence on land southwest of Williams Lake in the province’s Interior that served as the Tsilhqot’in Nation’s traditional hunting land outside the boundaries of the reserve.

The area in question is sparsely populated, with 200 of the 3,000 Tsilhqot’in people living there.

Lower courts disagreed on whether the semi-nomadic Tsilhqot’in Nation, a group of six aboriginal bands, had title to lands. The Supreme Court said they do and laid out for the first time how to determine whether a First Nation can prove title.

The Supreme Court decision not only granted title to the Tsilhqot’in, but found the province breached its duty to consult with the First Nation before approving the logging licence.

Even without a declared land title, the province must consult with aboriginal groups about uses of the land in dispute and accommodate their interests, the top court said.

Hundreds of claims in B.C.

Across most of Canada, indigenous people signed land treaties with the Crown that gave up their claim to land in exchange for reserves and other promises. But for the most part, that didn’t happen in British Columbia.

There are hundreds of indigenous groups across British Columbia with unresolved land claims. That means the Tsilhqot’in win sets a precedent that many others in the province will be watching closely.

“There are many, many other First Nations in B.C. that will read this court case, get their lawyers in the room and rightly say, ‘How close to this set of facts is our set of facts?’” said Gallagher.

“Some will be quite close and some will not be remotely close, but for those First Nations that are close, they will be able to use this as a precedent.”

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said the ruling marks the start of a “genuine dialogue of reconciliation that has eluded us for so long.”

“I truly believe a rising tide carries all boats,” said Phillip. “And in that regard we have an opportunity to participate in the economic future of this province as equal partners.”

Meanwhile, the B.C. Justice Department said the province is studying the legal implications of the decision.

Implications for the rest of Canada

The ruling is also likely to have implications in other parts of the country, particularly in Quebec, through the East Coast and in areas where land treaties don’t exist.

Veteran aboriginal rights lawyer James O’Reilly believes the high court’s ruling could be applied to 40 per cent of Quebec’s territory.

“I think it has wide sweeping consequences … for virtually every set of negotiations with aboriginal nations in Quebec,” he said.

O’Reilly has spent decades working on First Nations claims in Quebec, from the Cree on James Bay to Innu along the northeastern shore of the St. Lawrence River, and he said about nine groups are currently involved in land claim negotiations.

The decision could also encourage more bands to assert their rights. However, the Supreme Court ruling focuses on lands still in use for traditional purposes such as hunting and fishing, meaning it likely rules out most developed parts of the province.

In the East Coast, it’s a different set of circumstances, but one that could lead to the same result.

The Crown often asked for “peace and friendship” treaties, an agreement aimed at ending hostilities. Gallagher notes the British were “massively outnumbered” and thus more concerned with co-operation than settlements.

Fifteen years ago, the Supreme Court ruled on those treaties and found that they didn’t settle land ownership issues on unceded land, said Gallagher. Thursday’s ruling by the top court sets a precedent for those claims as well.

“It’s now open to those First Nations to make those assertions,” said Gallagher.

Industry groups and government

The high court’s decision is expected to further complicate approvals for resource projects such as the $7-billion Northern Gateway pipeline proposal by Enbridge to move Alberta crude oil to the B.C. coast. That proposed route crosses no less than four territorial claims.

The Supreme Court decision states that the government has a duty to consult and accommodate First Nations even as the land claim is underway.

“This clarification really changes everything across the country,” said Pamela Palmater, a Mi’kmaq lawyer with the Centre for Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University. “So, it’s not just about the duty to consult anymore, this really changes it to a requirement to get consent over all unceded territory in this country.”

Now that the top court has established the Tsilhqot’in First Nation’s aboriginal title on the land in dispute, it has the right to determine “the uses to which the land is put and to enjoy its economic fruits,” the court said.

“This is not merely a right of first refusal with respect to Crown land management or usage plans,” the ruling written by Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin said. “Rather, it is a right to proactively use and manage the land.”

If the First Nations group does not consent, the government can only go against its wishes if it proves it’s justified under the Constitution.

The ruling also said that once title is established, it may be necessary for the government to reassess its prior conduct in light of its new obligations. For example, if it starts a project without consent, it may be required to cancel the project if it would be “unjustifiably infringing.”

“It means that if you’re a miner or a forester or a B.C. hydro transmission company or a pipeliner, that the legal landscape … has shifted,” said Gallagher.

Gallagher stresses that if industries want to exploit resources on First Nations land, “We have to realize that they lie in the traditional territories of the most disadvantaged communities in the country.

“And they have been massively empowered by this ruling … and their expectations have just increased exponentially.”

First Nations protesters redouble efforts to combat Northern Gateway

Opponents of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway project spent the day after its conditional approval from Ottawa waging war on several fronts, using civil disobedience, legal action, and persuasion to further the message that the $7.9-billion pipeline should not be built.

Nine people staged a sit-in at Conservative MP James Moore’s B.C. constituency office Wednesday to voice their opposition to the project. Four were arrested after they refused to leave, but were quickly released by police and not taken into custody.

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“We feel that Stephen Harper, along with James Moore, have a democratic duty to respect the convictions of Canadians and British Columbians who have said no,” Elle-Maija Tailfeathers, one of the protesters who left on her own accord, said in an interview.

When asked why she left the protest, Ms. Tailfeathers said: “This is a very long struggle ahead. I’m in it for the long haul. I’m ready to pick my battles.”

Constable Luke van Winkel, a spokesman for the Port Moody Police Department, described the protest as peaceful and said “no real force” was needed to escort the protesters outside. He said the decision to release them quickly was based in part on the fact they were co-operative throughout the hours-long sit-in.

The federal government’s decision this week to approve the Northern Gateway project was not unexpected. Within minutes of the announcement, the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said First Nations would take the matter to court. A rally against the project a few hours later drew 400 people.

Peter Lantin, president of the Haida Nation, said Wednesday the dispute between First Nations and the federal government has gone beyond the Northern Gateway project.

“For us, it’s a rights and title discussion,” he said. “It’s not necessarily about a pipeline.”

The legal challenge is being mounted by a coalition that includes all three major aboriginal organizations in the province: the pro-treaty First Nations Summit, the anti-treaty Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs and the regional branch of the Assembly of First Nations, as well as dozens of individual bands.

Enbridge has said it expected legal challenges and continues to work to engage aboriginal communities along the pipeline route.

At a conference at the Hakai Beach Institute, a former fishing lodge that has been reborn as a science base camp in the Great Bear Rainforest, scientists and native leaders from B.C., Alaska, Washington and California joined forces to write a letter to the Prime Minister, expressing their concerns about the project.

If the pipeline is built, a series of speakers said as the letter was being drafted, it would be devastating to the marine ecosystem on the Northwest Coast, and to the native communities that for 12,000 years have subsisted on food gathered from the sea.

Violet Yeaton, an environmental planner from the Sugpiat village of Port Graham, Alaska, told the gathering of the damage done by the Exxon Valdez tanker accident, when 11 million gallons of oil spilled into Alaskan waters in 1989.

She said the area had been pristine, vibrant and alive. But she said the spill caused the deaths of 2,800 sea otters, 900 eagles, and 250,000 sea birds and several species have not recovered.

The letter reminded the government that Canada is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity and the UN’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Eric Peterson, who with his wife, Christina Munck, runs the non-profit Hakai Beach Institute that lies just south of the proposed tanker route, told the delegates they should also be writing to Premier Christy Clark.

“The federal government is not listening. The provincial government would be a powerful ally. If they hold the line … that project is going nowhere,” he said.

Canadian Officials Under Fire for Enbridge Pipeline Approval

OTTAWA—Under attack from opposition politicians, environmentalists and aboriginal groups for giving Enbridge Inc. the green light to build a pipeline linking the Alberta oil sands and the Pacific Coast, Canada’s top officials said Wednesday it was up to the company to meet a series of conditions before construction could begin.

Canada on Tuesday approved Enbridge’s Northern Gateway project, which would carry 525,000 barrels a day of crude oil from near Edmonton, Alberta, to a marine terminal in Kitimat, British Columbia, where the oil would be loaded onto tankers bound for Asia.

The decision supports the Conservative government’s aim of encouraging development of the country’s natural resources, and finding new markets for energy products at a time when demand from the U.S., the biggest importer of Canadian crude, could wane due to the shale boom.

In the Canadian Parliament, Prime Minister Stephen Harper defended the decision Wednesday, saying it was contingent on Enbridge satisfying 209 conditions set out by the country’s main energy regulator before construction begins. After 18 months of hearings, the regulator, the National Energy Board, said last December the project’s potential benefits to the economy “outweigh the burdens and risks” posed to the environment.

“The fact of the matter is that the government is acting on the advice of an independent scientific panel that thoroughly reviewed these matters,” Mr. Harper said. “The government has applied the conditions demanded by that panel. It is now up to [Enbridge] to assure the regulator going forward that it will indeed comply with those conditions.”

Finance Minister Joe Oliver said separately that finding new energy markets for Canadian resources continued to be among the top priorities for policy makers, saying failure to do so could apply downward pressure on the price for western Canadian crude, which trades at a “significant” discount versus other benchmark blends.

“We could see a decline in the level of revenue, and there’s a cost to the Canadian economy,” he said at a news conference.

The leaders of Canada’s two main opposition parties have vowed to overturn the Conservative government’s decision on Gateway if elected into power after next year’s election, arguing the project represents too much risk to the coastal environment and economy of British Columbia, the country’s westernmost province.

The government of British Columbia has imposed its own set of conditions—five in all, dealing with the environment, addressing aboriginal concerns and financial compensation—before it is prepared to issue permits to allow digging for the pipeline.

“Our position on the Northern Gateway pipeline remains unchanged,” British Columbia Environment Minister Mary Polak told reporters after the decision was issued, which she termed “not a surprise.”

The B.C. government’s first criteria called for the blessing of the joint review panel set up by Canada’s National Energy Board, which was issued in December. The others include improved land and marine oil-spill prevention programs, a “fair share” of economic benefits for the province and consultations with aboriginal groups. “There are still four remaining conditions that need to be completed,” Ms. Polak said.

Investors largely shrugged off news Wednesday of the Canadian government’s approval for the project, recognizing Enbridge must address concerns posed by regulators, the British Columbia government and aboriginal groups before it is allowed to begin construction. Enbridge shares fell 45 cents in trading in New York, closing Wednesday’s session at $47.35, on slightly greater-than-average volume.

Environmental groups and aboriginals argue Gateway will never get built, given the stiff opposition in the province, and have vowed to go to the courts to stop Enbridge. In a sign of the tension ahead, a group of protesters issued a statement saying it staged a peaceful sit in at the British Columbia office of a senior Conservative lawmaker, James Moore, to exhibit opposition to the pipeline project.

Northern Gateway Pipeline Announcement and Rally

Federal Government will announce decision on the Northern Gateway Pipeline tomorrow at 1pm.

Rally to follow:

DATE CONFIRMED – *Whatever the announcement, we are STILL holding the rally in solidarity with those on the front lines!

5:30 – CBC – Hamiliton Street@Georgia Street

The Federal Government is announcing its decision on Enbridge Northern Gateway onTuesday, June 17th at 1 pm

ON THE DAY of the announcement please meet at CBC TV/Radio downtown Vancouver at 5:30 pm. (Across from Vancouver Public Library and Queen Eliz. Theatre/ 700 Hamilton St. @ Georgia St.)

Please bring 2 friends 🙂 signs and be ready to make a LOT of noise! Calling all drummers please!! 🙂

Northern Gateway Pipeline Announcement and Rally

Federal Government will announce decision on the Northern Gateway Pipeline tomorrow at 1pm.

Rally to follow:

DATE CONFIRMED – *Whatever the announcement, we are STILL holding the rally in solidarity with those on the front lines!

5:30 – CBC – Hamiliton Street@Georgia Street

The Federal Government is announcing its decision on Enbridge Northern Gateway onTuesday, June 17th at 1 pm

ON THE DAY of the announcement please meet at CBC TV/Radio downtown Vancouver at 5:30 pm. (Across from Vancouver Public Library and Queen Eliz. Theatre/ 700 Hamilton St. @ Georgia St.)

Please bring 2 friends 🙂 signs and be ready to make a LOT of noise! Calling all drummers please!! 🙂

Join the Conversation: Kinder Morgan and Vancouver’s economy

On Monday night, there is a very important conversation coming up that I want you to be a part of.

We’re holding an event to discuss Kinder Morgan’s proposal to increase by a factor of seven the oil tanker traffic in our local waters. This conversation is not just about a pipeline and oil tankers…it’s about the economic future we want to build for our city. Our global brand is of a clean, green, innovative city – and it’s what attracts people and businesses from around the world to locate here. An oil spill would put all of this at risk.

Will you come share your ideas and help build the vision for Vancouver’s economic future?

What: Neighborhood forum and workshop – Kinder Morgan and Vancouver’s economic future
When: Monday, June 16
What time: 7.00pm – 9.30pm
Where: St. James Community Square (3214 W 10th Ave)
>>RSVP Now<< Over the past five years, the Vision team has worked to make Vancouver the Greenest City in the World by 2020. Together, we will continue to fight the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion that threatens our environment, our economy, and our global reputation. We will continue to champion better transit options that support our environment and our economy, including the Broadway subway – part of the Metro Vancouver Mayors’ Council’s new transit plan released yesterday – that our city needs to continue moving forward. But to do that, we need you to be a part of the process. We need you to come out, share your ideas, and have your voice heard. I look forward to seeing you Monday night! Gregor Robertson Vision Vancouver http://donate.votevision.ca/ -=-=-

Kinder Morgan hires SFU experts for route study

Kinder Morgan is hiring two SFU experts to help determine the feasibility of running a new pipeline through Burnaby Mountain. The professors will analyze Lidar images for the entire Lower Mainland, in a first-ever modern study to search for active fault lines.

By Photo submitted
Can Kinder Morgan run a pipeline through Burnaby Mountain? That’s the multi-million dollar question the company is trying to answer by bringing in two experts from SFU, and their project will provide information on earthquake fault lines for the entire Lower Mainland.

Kinder Morgan is working with SFU’s John Clague and Doug Stead to help determine the feasibility of the latest routing option, which involves boring or tunneling through Burnaby Mountain to connect the storage tanks to the Westridge Marine Terminal.

“(Clague and Stead) are going to be assessing all of the surficial geology and some of these geological features, such as the landslide on the north side of Burnaby Mountain,” said Greg Toth, senior project director for the pipeline expansion. “There are questions: Is there active faulting in the Lower Mainland area, or is there not?”

Clague and Stead are both research chairs and professors in SFU’s school of earth sciences. Clague is a geologist who specializes in natural hazards, while Stead is an engineering geologist with a focus on slope instability.

One important piece of missing information for Kinder Morgan is whether Burnaby Mountain has fault lines of breaks in the earth due to landslides – a question geologists have not managed to answer according to a company-commissioned review of geological reports and studies dating back roughly 100 years.

Pipeline controversy aside, Clague said he’s very excited about the project, especially because they will use Lidar imagery to search for faults in the Lower Mainland, not just on Burnaby Mountain.

Lidar is a relatively new technology that uses lasers to scan surfaces to create detailed 3D images. The images Clague will be working with were shot from aircraft. Surface vegetation can be removed from the images electronically, so scientists like Clague are left with topographical maps that are better than those based on conventional aerial photography.

“It’s totally non invasive. We don’t need to get permitting to acquire it. It’s all acquired from aircraft. It’s a tool to determine if there has been any ruptures from earthquakes,” Clague said. “I’ve always said we have to find out if there are active faults, and it plays into all kinds of risk and hazard related issues.”

Clague and Stead’s findings will very likely have larger implications for the rest of the Lower Mainland, since this is the first-ever survey of its kind for the region.

As for the pipeline, Kinder Morgan is proposing two options for the new mountain route within the same study corridor. The first is horizontal directional drilling, which involves boring a hole through the mountain and pulling the pipeline though with the drill, which would cost the company $24 million. The second option is tunneling the line through the same corridor, which would cost $47 million. The third option is running the pipeline down Burnaby Mountain Parkway, then Hastings Street and Cliff Avenue, which would cost $20 million.

Part of the company’s rationale for going through the mountain was to avoid the Westridge neighbourhood, where many residents don’t want the pipeline in their neighbourhood.

© Burnaby Now