Dix against pipeline proposal

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Adrian Dix, the British Columbia premier hopeful, won’t support a current plan to twin an oil pipeline leading into Burnaby, sparking concern a ruling BC NDP wouldn’t respect government procedure. The Trans-Mountain Pipeline, running from Edmonton to Burnaby, has been operating since the 1950s. Its current owner, Texas-based Kinder Morgan, wants to double the pipeline’s capacity to accommodate the export of raw bitumen oil and other products.

Cleanup efforts seen after a 2007 oil pipeline rupture in Burnaby. BC NDP Leader Adrian Dix says he doesn’t support a plan to twin the same line.

The plan has been contentious in part due to a 2007 spill in north Burnaby after an excavator ruptured the pipeline, spewing more than 200,000 litres of oil into the neighbourhood and Burrard Inlet.

The twinning proposal is currently in the pre-application phase, but Dix, who has previously been non-committal on the subject, said he doesn’t support the plan the way it now sits.

“Our position is pretty clear that we do not expect Vancouver to become a major oil export port as appears to be suggested in what Kinder Morgan is proposing,” he said.

Meanwhile, Rich Coleman, the BC Liberal Energy Minister, said Dix’s comments show a lack of respect for the application process and suggests the BC NDP will make arbitrary decisions on major issues if elected.

“It sends an interesting message to people who want to do business in B.C.,” Coleman said. “If you’re a natural gas company, you want to build a pipeline, will he change his mind midstream before you actually end your process?”

He said Kinder Morgan’s application must happen before the government can make decisions about the project.

Dix’s comments were welcomed by Alan Dutton of Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion, a groupformedafterthe2007spill.

“This is a surprise, but a very welcome surprise,” he said. “Wethinkthattheactionofthe NDP is entirely appropriate.”
Kinder Morgan said it is “confident” it will answer any questions or concerns about the proposal through its application and is willing to work with all levels of government.