[UPDATED] B.C. Supreme Court grants Kinder Morgan injunction against protesters

The B.C. Supreme Court has granted Kinder Morgan an injunction to stop protesters from blocking the company’s survey work in the Burnaby Mountain conservation area.

The decision was handed down via email Friday morning, and the injunction is effective, Monday, Nov. 17, at 4 p.m.
Stephen Collis, one of the SFU professors named in the company’s multimillion dollar civil suit, isn’t sure what will happen next.

“We have 72 hours to react,” he told the NOW. “People have a choice to get out of the way or defy the injunction order. And people will individually and collectively make decisions about that over the course of the weekend.”
Collis was disappointed with the news.

“Ultimately this is about protecting the land locally and protecting the climate, that’s why we don’t want fossil fuel pipelines,” he said.

Alan Dutton from Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion was not happy to hear the news.
“I feel terrible. I’m really disappointed. I thought our arguments were convincing,” he told the NOW.

Like Collis, Dutton was among the five protesters named in Kinder Morgan’s civil suit.

Speaking on behalf of BROKE, Dutton was recommending people respect the injunction.

“My initial feeling is people should obey the law. If there’s a decision to commit civil disobedience, that will be an individual decision,” he said, adding the group plans to meet Saturday to plan its next response.

“This is not the end of the struggle. This is just the beginning. It’s a new phase. We are moving to a higher level of struggle with Kinder Morgan,” Dutton said. “We are exploring new avenues, and we have a very good legal defense team.”

Scott Stoness, vice president of regulatory with Kinder Morgan Canada, said the company was happy with the court’s decision.

“We think it was the right decision, and we are pleased we can proceed with our work,” he told the NOW.
When asked what Kinder Morgan would do if some protesters do not respect the injunction, he said the company is considering that issue.

“Consistent with what BROKE is saying, we hope that parties follow the law. We think it’s possible people can protest and express themselves without interfering with our safe worksite,” Stoness said, adding that he hopes things don’t escalate.

Stoness pointed out that Kinder Morgan opted for the Burnaby Mountain route since it was considered less disruptive than the initial plan to twin the line through the Westridge neighbourhood. He also stated that, if the project is approved, the line will be hundreds of feet below ground and will not affect the use of the conservation area. When asked about concerns of a rupture or seismic stability, Stoness said the NEB has a process to ensure that risks are reasonable.

Stoness also said Kinder Morgan has no intention of pursuing the millions in damages in the civil suit, provided the company can complete its work.

Kinder Morgan has a Dec. 1 deadline to complete the survey work and submit the plans to the NEB, which extended the regulatory hearing, because the Burnaby Mountain route was not part of the original plans submitted in the initial application. Kinder Morgan changed the preferred route in North Burnaby after pushback from residents in the
Westridge area, where the current pipeline is located.

The remaining Burnaby Mountain survey work includes drilling two six-inch bore holes, approximately 250 metres in depth, and taking core samples at two locations, one on the side of Centennial Way, the other in the woods, just a short hike from Horizons Restaurant.

Chief Justice Austin Cullen noted in his decision that failure to grant the injunction would cause Kinder Morgan “irreparable harm” through substantial costs and potential loss of revenue.

“The harm although primarily economic, is thus nonetheless irreparable,” he stated.

Burnaby RCMP are reviewing the decision, but the injunction was granted as requested, and Kinder Morgan asked for an enforcement order, so police will likely be able arrest any protesters who disobey the order.

© Burnaby Now

SFU community rallies against Kinder Morgan expansion

The judge will deliver a verdict on Friday morning to accept or throw out the injunction against protesters
November 13th, 2014 by Melissa Roach
SFPIRG board member Tsatia Adzich reads out letter of opposition from Burnaby mayor Derek Corrigan.Image Credits: Hamed Yaghoubi Shahir
Anti-pipeline activists and observers gathered in Convocation Mall on the chilly morning of November 13 to voice concerns regarding the planned extension of the Kinder Morgan pipeline through Burnaby Mountain.

The rally, “SFU Says No to Pipelines,” was put on by the Simon Fraser Public Interest Research Group (SFPIRG) and united a plethora of student and community groups in opposition of Kinder Morgan.

Running from 11:00 a.m. to 3:20 p.m., the rally had a full list of speakers who spoke to the crowd over the course of the afternoon.

Pipeline opposition groups set up information tables on the sidelines to answer questions, collect signatures, and provide some much-needed warmth in the form of hot chocolate by donation, with the money going toward paying the legal fees of activists charged in the current Kinder Morgan lawsuit.

Various SFU organizations had a presence at the rally, including Sustainable SFU, Divest SFU, the SFU Women’s Centre, Out on Campus, and the First Nations Student Society. Both the Graduate Student Society (GSS) and the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS), who have intervenor status, also spoke to the potential impacts of the project.

Devon Cass, external relations officer for the GSS, said, “Kinder Morgan’s actions have blatantly disrespected our democratic processes and civil rights.”

In his speech, representative Jonathan Catliff of Sustainable SFU expressed that, “[Sustainable SFU] is deeply concerned about the overall risk to our environment, our economy, and our campus community.”

He went on to say that the National Energy Board (NEB) — on which Sustainable SFU was a commenter — had chosen to ignore the environmental impacts when they approved the project.

Catliff also touched on the power of the community to collectively enact change: “It’s events like this, and it’s people like you, that give me hope that we can make these much needed changes.”

Representatives from the Indigenous community brought up issues regarding Burnaby Mountain’s status as unceded Coast Salish territory.

The Wild Flower Women of Turtle Island Drum Group performed several songs, interspersed within the speaker’s schedule, in tribute to those “standing in solidarity” against the pipeline expansion through unceded territory.

Other members of the Burnaby community were present as well, such as the Council of Canadians, the Wilderness Committee, and PIPE UP Network. Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion (BROKE) supported the rally and is currently facing legal charges from Kinder Morgan.

A speech given was by John Clarke, a Burnaby resident living near the Kinder Morgan tank farm, who took part in the establishment of Burnaby Mountain Park — the location of the two Kinder Morgan survey sites — in the 1970’s. Looking out on the crowd, he said, “I can tell you, if this had happened in the 1960’s [. . .] the convocation area would be absolutely filled with students.”

Four of the five defendants named in the injunction were present at the rally, including self-proclaimed Burnaby Mountain caretakers Adam Gold and Mia Nissen.

Two of the three SFU professors named in the injunction, Lynne Quarmby, SFU professor of biochemistry, and Stephen Collis, SFU professor of English, were closing speakers at the rally. SFU professor Alan Dutton did not attend.

Quarmby made an announcement to those present in Convocation Mall that she had just learned via text that the judge would announce a verdict tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m, instead of November 17 as previously stated.

She encouraged people to head out to the sites on Burnaby Mountain to await the decision: “What we need is a large presence of support. There will be safe space where people can congregate as witnesses, as observers to see what happens.”

Quarmby continued, “If there is no injunction, there will be a pretty amazing celebration on Burnaby Mountain tomorrow at 10:30.”

Collis took the stage at the end of the event, asking ralliers to engage with him: “When I say ‘people,’ you say ‘power!’ People! (power!) People! (power).”

He added, “Whatever happens tomorrow morning, there’s still a long way to go.”

After the rally, attendees were invited to participate in a nature walk through Burnaby Mountain Park and the Kinder Morgan survey sites, as the sites may not be as freely accessible in the near future.

Protesters await court decision on injunction

B.C. Supreme Court will rule by Nov. 17 on Kinder Morgan’s injunction request and multimillion civil claim

The B.C. Supreme Court will decide by Nov. 17 whether to grant Kinder Morgan an injunction to stop anti-pipeline protesters from interfering with survey work on Burnaby Mountain.

The pipeline company also launched a multimillion civil suit against the five pipeline opponents, claiming, assault, trespassing and intimidation, and protesters are anxiously waiting for the Associate Chief Justice Austin Cullen’s decision.

“It’s in the back of your mind, and you have one eye on that all the time,” said Stephen Collis, an SFU English professor and one of five protesters named in the suit. “I’m pretty exhausted, emotionally, as well as everything else.”

Collis characterized Kinder Morgan’s suit as a frivolous attempt to shut down protesters. Fellow protester Lynne Quarmby agreed.

“It’s obvious that their intent is to intimidate and silence us, and I was determined to be strong and to not be silenced and to continue to speak out,” she told the NOW. “But I think it’s also important to acknowledge it’s been an incredibly difficult time. It has definitely thrown our lives into chaos.”

Quarmby, Collis, Alan Dutton of BROKE and two other protesters have been singled out as the ringleaders, leading the charge to block Kinder Morgan’s survey work in the conservation area, but Quarmby says there are many people on the mountain, and there’s no hierarchical structure in place.

Even if Kinder Morgan secures and injunction, people are not going to easily walk away from the mountain, Quarmby added.

“So I’m nervous about that,” she said.

The three days of court hearings ran until last Friday. Kinder Morgan’s lawyer argued in court that facial expressions can constitute assault, a notion that sparked an Internet meme that’s gone viral.

Pipeline opponents have been uploading their “Kinder Morgan faces” – frowning, snarling or making silly facial expressions – on Twitter, with the hashtag #KMface. The meme has been garnering media attention across the country.

Meanwhile, protesters have maintained a presence on Burnaby Mountain and hosted a weekend of activities, with music and art.

An online fundraising campaign has raised more than $51,000 to help cover the protesters’ legal defence, and there are more fundraisers in the works, Collis said.

One protester was arrested over the weekend on Burnaby Mountain. (Click here for video of the confrontation and arrest.) Local RCMP said he was picked up for obstructing a police officer. He has since been released and he could be charged with obstruction.

© Burnaby Now

How to lose friends and alienate people: Lessons from Kinder Morgan

For the past several years, the energy giant Kinder Morgan has benefited in the public eye from the simple fact that it wasn’t Enbridge, another big energy company wanting to do what KM wants to do: build a pipeline to carry bitumen from Alberta.

Enbridge took on the role of villain right at the beginning of the B.C.-Alberta pipeline saga. It became the chief focus of attack from various environmental and First Nations groups, as it was painted as a major threat to the environment and the pristine shores of Northern British Columbia.

The company was ridiculed by many for its seemingly tone-deaf approach to shaping public opinion in its favour, or currying much support from the various parties (First Nations, local communities, the B.C. government etc.) for what was required for any chance of success for its proposed Northern Gateway pipeline.

But as Enbridge fades, for now at least, into the background as the perception grows that the Northern Gateway pipeline is unlikely to be built, the focus has shifted to Kinder Morgan’s proposed pipeline into the shores of Burrard Inlet.

And now it is Kinder Morgan that has taken on the role of villain in the eyes of many, and it can be argued it is outdoing Enbridge when it comes to alienating the public.

Up until a few months ago, Kinder Morgan was engaged in educating the public – through many public meetings and presentations – about the merits of their project.

Concerned about increased tanker traffic resulting from the pipeline? Kinder Morgan officials had a ready, reasonable response.

Worried about oil spills? Hey, said Kinder Morgan, we’ve been using the same pipeline and shipping oil on tankers for years with nary a problem.

The fact that Kinder Morgan had an established pipeline and tanker operation already in place seemed to give it a leg up over Enbridge when it came to establishing good public relations.

However, the company’s deft approach to courting public support has been replaced by a clumsy, ham-handed and confrontational style that has been called bullying tactics by many.

Veteran energy executive Marc Eliesen (an ex-CEO of B.C. Hydro) quit as an intervenor in the federal review of the Kinder Morgan, blasting the National Energy Board as being “captured” by the oil industry. He also accused Kinder Morgan of refusing to answer all kinds of questions, or of offering flippant replies.

As well, Kinder Morgan was not content to simply file an injunction against protesters trying to stop their survey work on Burnaby Mountain. The company (whose enemies love to refer to it as a “Texas-based oil giant”) went substantially further and filed lawsuits against four of the protesters (arguing, among other things, that facial expressions of protesters could be viewed as some kind of assault).

Now, B.C. is no stranger to companies going to court to get injunctions against environmentalists (although arguing facial expressions is a form of assault is a first). In the 1990s, forest companies seemed to be spend their entire legal budgets fighting protesters during the so-called “war of the woods.”

It was expected that for all that time that Kinder Morgan flew under the radar, content to let Enbridge take all the heat and attention, the company would eventually be the prime target of the environmental movement. But launching law suits against individuals (which include Simon Fraser University professors and a citizens’ group) [Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion – of course and Alan Dutton] would seem to stray beyond the similar rules of combat in these affairs, and into the more sensitive and worrisome turf of denying free speech and the right of protest.

I’m not one of those who favor shutting down all kinds of resource developments, whether they involve pipelines or not. Saying “no” to everything – energy projects, port expansions, mines, train shipments – seems to be all the rage these days for a determined portion of B.C.’s population.

But while their anti-development positions may well cripple the provincial economy should they ever take hold, these folks still have the right to be heard and to take what reasonable steps – which include civil disobedience – they think are required to achieve their goals.

Kinder Morgan was running with the ball quite effectively for a number of months in this long game of pipeline politics. But as it nears the goal line, it appears that it has fumbled the ball.

Keith Baldrey is chief political reporter for Global B.C.

How to lose friends and alienate people: Lessons from Kinder Morgan

For the past several years, the energy giant Kinder Morgan has benefited in the public eye from the simple fact that it wasn’t Enbridge, another big energy company wanting to do what KM wants to do: build a pipeline to carry bitumen from Alberta.

Enbridge took on the role of villain right at the beginning of the B.C.-Alberta pipeline saga. It became the chief focus of attack from various environmental and First Nations groups, as it was painted as a major threat to the environment and the pristine shores of Northern British Columbia.

The company was ridiculed by many for its seemingly tone-deaf approach to shaping public opinion in its favour, or currying much support from the various parties (First Nations, local communities, the B.C. government etc.) for what was required for any chance of success for its proposed Northern Gateway pipeline.

But as Enbridge fades, for now at least, into the background as the perception grows that the Northern Gateway pipeline is unlikely to be built, the focus has shifted to Kinder Morgan’s proposed pipeline into the shores of Burrard Inlet.

And now it is Kinder Morgan that has taken on the role of villain in the eyes of many, and it can be argued it is outdoing Enbridge when it comes to alienating the public.

Up until a few months ago, Kinder Morgan was engaged in educating the public – through many public meetings and presentations – about the merits of their project.

Concerned about increased tanker traffic resulting from the pipeline? Kinder Morgan officials had a ready, reasonable response.

Worried about oil spills? Hey, said Kinder Morgan, we’ve been using the same pipeline and shipping oil on tankers for years with nary a problem.

The fact that Kinder Morgan had an established pipeline and tanker operation already in place seemed to give it a leg up over Enbridge when it came to establishing good public relations.

However, the company’s deft approach to courting public support has been replaced by a clumsy, ham-handed and confrontational style that has been called bullying tactics by many.

Veteran energy executive Marc Eliesen (an ex-CEO of B.C. Hydro) quit as an intervenor in the federal review of the Kinder Morgan, blasting the National Energy Board as being “captured” by the oil industry. He also accused Kinder Morgan of refusing to answer all kinds of questions, or of offering flippant replies.

As well, Kinder Morgan was not content to simply file an injunction against protesters trying to stop their survey work on Burnaby Mountain. The company (whose enemies love to refer to it as a “Texas-based oil giant”) went substantially further and filed lawsuits against four of the protesters (arguing, among other things, that facial expressions of protesters could be viewed as some kind of assault).

Now, B.C. is no stranger to companies going to court to get injunctions against environmentalists (although arguing facial expressions is a form of assault is a first). In the 1990s, forest companies seemed to be spend their entire legal budgets fighting protesters during the so-called “war of the woods.”

It was expected that for all that time that Kinder Morgan flew under the radar, content to let Enbridge take all the heat and attention, the company would eventually be the prime target of the environmental movement. But launching law suits against individuals (which include Simon Fraser University professors and a citizens’ group) [Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion – of course and Alan Dutton] would seem to stray beyond the similar rules of combat in these affairs, and into the more sensitive and worrisome turf of denying free speech and the right of protest.

I’m not one of those who favor shutting down all kinds of resource developments, whether they involve pipelines or not. Saying “no” to everything – energy projects, port expansions, mines, train shipments – seems to be all the rage these days for a determined portion of B.C.’s population.

But while their anti-development positions may well cripple the provincial economy should they ever take hold, these folks still have the right to be heard and to take what reasonable steps – which include civil disobedience – they think are required to achieve their goals.

Kinder Morgan was running with the ball quite effectively for a number of months in this long game of pipeline politics. But as it nears the goal line, it appears that it has fumbled the ball.

Keith Baldrey is chief political reporter for Global B.C.

Burnaby Municipal Elections

Preamble: The City of Burnaby faces some challenges over the next 4 years in terms of a proposal to significantly increase oil exports via the Westridge Marine Terminal. Please answer questions to a maximum of 250 words per question. Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion (BROKE) will reproduce unedited responses to its website. Thank you.

The following candidates and parties responded.

The questions asked each candidate and party were as follows.

01) Trans Mountain ULC is proposing to increase bitumen shipments by pipeline through Burnaby for export purposes only. If elected mayor, would you take a position relative to this proposal? Please explain your position on this project. 249 words

“I am in favour of Gas Pipe Line as it is beneficial to City as it will create jobs & Generate Revenue on top of general economy for the community.” With Best Regards : RAJ GUPTA, We together will make it happen !!

02) Do you agree with doubling the storage tanks (5.4 million barrels) on Burnaby Mountain to store the 890 000 barrels of diluted bitumen that would flow into them daily? Explain. 219 words I disagree with doubling the storage tanks on Burnaby Mountain.

(3) Do you believe that shipping 400 tanker loads per year, or one or more per day, of diluted bitumen through the Burrard Inlet and Salish Seas will be accident free? Explain why.

04) Are you concerned about the current Trans Mountain pipeline as it is now 60 years old and may face additional stress due to the transport of diluted bitumen? If so, what concerns do you have? 173 words

05) Do you support ways to reduce carbon emissions in the City of Burnaby? How would you create programs or services to encourage residents to reduce carbon emissions?

Study questions benefits of Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain expansion

Images

Burnaby tank farm .jpg

CALGARY – Kinder Morgan is overplaying the economic benefits and downplaying the costs of its proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, according to a report released Monday.

Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Public Policy Research teamed with The Goodman Group Ltd., a California-based consulting firm, to examine the estimated impacts of the project.

The report “strongly recommends that the citizens and decision-makers of B.C. and Metro Vancouver reject this pipeline, which is neither in the economic nor public interest of B.C. and Metro Vancouver.”

The Trans Mountain pipeline currently ships 300,000 barrels of petroleum products per day from the Edmonton area to the West Coast. The $5.4-billion expansion would nearly triple its capacity to 890,000 barrels a day, enabling crude exports to Asia via the Vancouver area.

In its regulatory application to the National Energy Board late last year, Kinder Morgan included an analysis by the Conference Board of Canada, an economic think-tank based in Ottawa. The conference board estimated 36,000 person-years of employment in B.C. while the pipeline was being built.

Monday’s report disputes those numbers, saying expected employment during construction would be about a third of that — 12,000 person years, tops. That’s less than less than 0.2 per cent of total provincial employment.

The number of long-term jobs is also overstated, according to the SFU-Goodman report.

Kinder Morgan has projected 50 direct full-time jobs once the pipeline is up and running, with 2,000 resulting from the project’s spinoff benefits. The report pegs the spinoff jobs at closer to 800.

The report’s authors say B.C. government coffers will get a “tiny” benefit from the Trans Mountain expansion, with Alberta and oilsands producers the main beneficiaries. Property tax benefits for B.C. communities along the route would average less than one per cent of current total municipal revenues.

“B.C. is not getting its fair share of benefits from this project,” said Ian Goodman, president of The Goodman Group.

On the cost side, the report also takes issue with Kinder Morgan’s numbers. The company’s most expensive spill scenario puts the cost at $100 million to $300 million. Brigid Rowan, senior energy economist with the Goodman Group, said a large spill in a highly populated area like Metro Vancouver could cost up to $5 billion.

“Putting it all together, the benefits are not as good as we’ve been told, but the costs are much worse,” she said.

Past research by The Goodman Group has taken aim at other projects’ stated economic benefits, such as Enbridge Inc.’s (TSX:ENB) Line 9 reversal between southern Ontario and Montreal and TransCanada Corp.’s (TSX:TRP) Keystone XL pipeline to the U.S.

The study’s authors hope their findings make their way to key decision-makers weighing Kinder Morgan’s proposal, whether that’s the B.C. government or the National Energy Board. They welcome anyone participating in the NEB process, currently underway, to include the report as evidence in their filings.

“It’s important to have this report entered into the public debate and become a part of the review that goes on with respect to this project and also be something that decision-makers, as this moves forward, have available to them,” said Doug McArthur, director of the graduate school of public policy at SFU

“In all cases, we believe the findings will lead people to believe this project is really questionable.”

Kinder Morgan referred inquiries to the Conference Board.

Michael Burt, director of the think-tank’s industrial economic trends group, said it used a “very well established methodology” — Statistics Canada’s input-output model — to come up with its figures.

“This is the established tool for doing these sorts of analyses,” he said, adding the SFU-Goodman Group report uses a methodology “that we just wouldn’t agree is appropriate.”

“Broadly, I would say our numbers use a good methodology, a sound methodology and broadly speaking the assumptions underneath are conservative assumptions.”

University of Alberta economist Andrew Leach said he takes issue with how pipeline firms have been touting the jobs their projects would create as a means to justify them to the public.

Many economic analyses he’s seen assume pipelines are built “in a vacuum,” but that doesn’t reflect reality. For instance, if a particular project doesn’t go ahead, it doesn’t necessarily follow that throngs of pipefitters and engineers will be out of work. Rather, they may find jobs elsewhere in the oilpatch, or related to an alternative means of transport, such as rail.

More and more, people have been thinking of pipelines as stimulus projects, said Leach. But unlike a refurbished highway, pipelines are being paid for with private, not taxpayer, dollars.

The point in building a pipeline is to move crude oil to its destination in the most cost-effective way possible. So to brag about how much will be spent on labour defies logic, he said.

“You essentially create this situation where the pipeline companies is arguing that their pipeline is going to be more expensive than their opponents are arguing it is going to be, which doesn’t really make sense,” he said.

“It’s just backwards to me.”

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