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Former BC Hydro CEO calls NEB “industry captured”

The Vancouver Observer reports:

“A former BC Hydro CEO withdrew from the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion hearings, writing a scathing letter accusing the National Energy Board of “bias” in favour of pipeline approval. 

“This so-called public hearing process has become a farce, and this Board a truly industry captured regulator,” Marc Eliesen writes. 

Eliesen, who once sat on the board of oil giant Suncor Energy, said he had good working knowledge of the NEB hearing procedure, based on his 40 years in Canada’s energy sector. During the Enbridge Northern Gateway hearings, he criticized the Enbridge pipeline application and its energy forecasts for being based on “bogus economics“.

He said after reviewing Kinder Morgan’s application and the NEB’s response to intervenor question, he decided the hearings are “dismissive of Intervenors” and shows a “lack of respect” for participants. 

“In my view the NEB hearing process is a rigged game,” Eliesen told The Vancouver Observer by the phone. “In the past, there was a more objective evaluation of projects that would come forward…but it’s reached a stage where the NEB is not interested in the public interest, and more interested in facilitating the infrastructure for the oil and gas industry.” 

Eliesen criticized numerous aspects of the NEB’s hearing for Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. The Texas-based pipeline giant is applying to expand its existing 60-year-old Trans Mountain pipeline to carry 890,000 barrels of diluted bitumen from Edmonton, Alberta to Burnaby, B.C.”

Eliesen said he was “dismayed” to see that that the NEB has dropped oral cross-examination of proponents, which he said was a “critical” part of oil pipeline hearings in previous years. He also questioned why Kinder Morgan was not required to respond to 2,000 questions submitted by Intervenors, with the NEB rejecting 95 per cent of the queries. 

Marc Eliesen Letter of Withdrawal from Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion NEB process

The NEB is also considering the largest pipeline project in North America- TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline from Alberta’s tar sands to Saint John NB.  You can ask Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to step up and do the job that the NEB has shown it is unwilling to do here:  http://canadians.org/action/no-energyeast