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NEWS: Trans Mountain pipeline faces major political and regulatory obstacles

Council of Canadians Pacific regional organizer Harjap Grewal marches against the Trans Mountain pipeline in August 2011. Photo credit: Vancouver Media Co-op.

Council of Canadians Pacific regional organizer Harjap Grewal marches against the Trans Mountain pipeline in August 2011. Photo credit: Vancouver Media Co-op.

The Globe and Mail reports, “Kinder Morgan Canada Inc. will need to overcome political and regulatory risks for its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion plans, underscored by the challenges of obtaining permits from British Columbia.

The National Energy Board has interprovincial jurisdiction for reviewing Kinder Morgan’s expected application to twin its existing Trans Mountain oil pipeline from Edmonton to the Vancouver suburb of Burnaby, but the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission has the authority to grant final permits.”

“Obtaining provincial permits will be necessary, even if the pipeline company were to win federal approval to expand its Trans Mountain route by building a new $5.4-biliion line. …Employees at the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission have the power to approve or reject aspects of an NEB-approved application, after checking whether a proposal complies with the province’s Land Act, Forest Act and Water Act, commission spokesman Hardy Friedrich said in an interview Wednesday.”

“The B.C. New Democratic Party announced earlier this week that it opposes Kinder Morgan’s plans to nearly triple the amount of oil transported along the route from Edmonton to the company’s Westridge marine terminal on the shores of Burrard Inlet. B.C. NDP Leader Adrian Dix, whose party is riding high in public opinion polls in the weeks before the May 14 provincial election, said he is concerned about the prospect of increased traffic in and out of the inlet.”

“Currently, five oil tankers a month sail past picturesque sites such as Vancouver’s Stanley Park to get to the Westridge terminal. Kinder Morgan envisages boosting the number of tankers docking at the terminal to 34 a month. First Nations leaders, environmentalists and the mayors of Vancouver and Burnaby also oppose the expansion.”

The Council of Canadians has been campaigning against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion since 2011.

The Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline proposal involves twinning the existing Alberta-to-Metro Vancouver 980-kilometre pipeline, which would add 550,000 barrels a day capacity to the current 300,000 barrels a day pipeline. It would service more than 30 tankers a month at the Westridge, Burnaby terminal. Kinder Morgan plans to apply to the NEB for permission to construct the pipeline in late-2013. The company wants the pipeline to be operational by 2017. At 550,000 barrels a day, this pipeline is larger than the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline which would carry 525,000 barrels a day.

For more, please read:
NEWS: Adrian Dix appears to reject Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion
UPDATE: Mid Island chapter at open-house protest against Trans Mountain pipeline
UPDATE: BROKE town hall against the Trans Mountain pipeline
POLL: BC rejects Northern Gateway and Trans Mountain pipelines
UPDATE: Tsleil Waututh and Squamish First Nations oppose Kinder Morgan with canoe protest
UPDATE: Council opposes Trans Mountain pipeline
UPDATE: Council marches against Trans Mountain Pipeline