Keystone XL loss may be victory in disguise for pipeline proponents
Narrow failure to pass bill in the U.S. Senate should guarantee pipeline's eventual passage
Keystone XL loss may be victory in disguise for pipeline proponents
Narrow failure to pass bill in the U.S. Senate should guarantee pipeline's eventual passage
Not sure where to insert this latest news gem as we have multiple threads on pipelines, - but this seeemed a likely spot. Maybe we should just open a generic "But what could possibly go wrong with a pipeline?" thread to keep track of these sorts pf stories.
Alberta Energy Regulator says pipeline spills 60,000 litres of crude into muskeg
The Alberta Energy Regulator says close to 60,000 litres of crude oil have spilled into muskeg in the province's north.
An incident report by the regulator states that a mechanical failure was reported Thursday at a Canadian Natural Resources Limited pipeline approximately 27 kilometres north of Red Earth Creek. The report says there are no reports of impact to wildlife and that a cleanup has begun...
..txs sherpa-finn. there is a tarsands thread but sometimes i post an important story in the more active pipeline thread at the moment. as i did yesterday in the west east thread.
..txs for that jas.
First Nations: NEB Kinder Morgan process unconstitutional
Constitutional challenges seem likely if the federal government approves Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline.
On Friday, Squamish Chief Ian Campbell presented a letter to the Harper government outlining the process’ defects. That letter, signed by twelve First Nation leaders, stated they are “wholly dissatisfied” with the Crown’s approach to consultation and called on the Crown to develop a meaningful consultation process.
The allegations of unconstitutionality include: failure to consult about the NEB process; use of written information requests rather than live cross examination of witnesses; insufficient capacity funding; and no guidance regarding how consultation will occur following the NEB’s recommendation....
..another court ruling on consultation.
Watershed Victory: Yukon First Nations score big win in Peel case (with video)
Court sends government back to the drawing board
The court ruling forces the government to go back and redo much of its constitutionally-required consultation, but with with certain important restrictions. Specifically, the proposed, vague clauses it wanted to insert into the process – enabling it to make sweeping changes to the development-versus-conservation balance – are a no-go this time around.
“The appropriate remedy is to return the matter to the point in the process where the error occurred,” said the court’s media advisory today. “This was at the stage of Consultation with respect to the Final Recommended Plan.”
Saudi Arabia Declares War on US Fracking, Hits Railroads, Tank-Car Makers, Canada, Russia; Sinks Venezuela
"While the US fracking boom is the official target, Canada's tar-sands producers are getting hit the hardest..."
31 ways to create good jobs in B.C.
Clark govt, Science World selling LNG Kool-Aid to kids
The BC Liberal government’s all-out push to build an LNG industry is extending into the province’s classrooms and the minds of its students. The latest partner in this effort, Science World, is co-hosting a series of community seminars in rural communities to educate students “about the fundamentals of energy science.”
Alongside presentations by Science World, an October government media advisory promises:
…young people will be able to talk with government and industry representatives and take part in Find Your Fit, an interactive event where grades 6-to-10 students get hands on experience with the skills needed for in demand jobs throughout the province.
B.C. heavy oil refinery project names aboriginal leaders as advisors
Two high-profile aboriginal leaders are expected to join the Pacific Future Energy Corp. proposed heavy oil refinery project in British Columbia in advisory roles. The company is expected to announce Wednesday that Shawn Atleo and Ovide Mercredi, both former national chiefs of the Assembly of First Nations, will join the Vancouver-based company.
Pacific Future Energy is planning a refinery to process Alberta bitumen. Its first phase would cost $10-billion and process 200,000-barrels-a-day of bitumen from the oil sands that could be transported by rail. The next four phases of the project, which would raise the cost to $34-billion, could be supported by a pipeline.
Mr. Atleo is expected to join its management team as senior advisor. Mr. Mercredi is joining as member of an advisory board chaired by former federal cabinet minister Stockwell Day....
Burnaby's legal battle against Kinder Morgan rejected by federal court
In a see-saw contest between the City of Burnaby and a $100-billion-Texas-based pipeline corporation, the municipality learned Friday its legal attack against Kinder Morgan will likely be heard in provincial court, not a federal one.
That’s because a federal appeal judge rejected the city’s application to hear its argument.
“It’s a procedural hurdle, but sooner or later a court has to deal with this issue,” said the City of Burnaby’s lawyer, Gregory McDade, Q.C. on Friday.
At the heart of the issue is whether cities like Burnaby should have a bigger say in pipeline development in Canada, said the lawyer....
Expert Engineers Deem Trans Mountain Too Dangerous
Is it safe?
That is the critical question regarding the proposed seven-fold increase in tanker traffic through Vancouver's harbour if the National Energy Board approves Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline project.
A group of B.C.-based engineers finds the current plans decidedly unsafe and just told the NEB so in no uncertain terms.
They echo a much earlier report commissioned by the federal government that unequivocally warned against such a plan.
Start, then, with the Concerned Professional Engineers (CPE), a group of senior local experts with decades of experience in marine transportation, naval architecture and risk mitigation. Last month they submitted a letter to the NEB regarding Kinder Morgan's proposal that states the proposed project ''presents a high risk to the environment and to structures located along these routes.''...
On December 9th, a tanker slammed into another vessel along the Shela River in the world's largest mangrove forest: the Sundarbans in Bangladesh. The tanker sank, spilling an estimated 75,000 gallons (350,000 liters) of fuel oil into waterways that are a part of a reserve for threatened Ganges river dolphins (Platanista gangetica) and Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris). Activists and experts say the devastating spill is a sign of what's to come as Bangladesh builds two coal power plants at the edge of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, prompting greater infrastructure, deforestation, and boat traffic inside the forest.
In the past few days, the oil has spread to cover about 350 square kilometers of the delicate ecosystem—including staining the Passur River—according to the Bangladeshi forest department. Yet, measures to contain and clean-up the oil spill have been crude at best.
CIJA: Israeli, Canadian Companies to Share Oil, Environmental Know-How
"Under a new agreement, Israeli research companies will be working with major oil companies on oilsands environmental issues under the Canadian Oilsands Innovation Alliance (COSIA).
As part of its mission to have closer co-operation with Israel, the Harper government signed the 2013 Canada-Israel Strategic Partnership that called for more collaboration 'across the widest possible spectrum."
hasbara hustlers belly up to the trough for a piece of the greasy action...
What can an "ordinary" woman accomplish?
Though Lanteigne is not trained in engineering or law – (she waitresses in cafes for a living) – the citizen investigator has been doggedly researching Enbridge’s Line 9 pipeline for years.
She used MapQuest to report that the driving distance between the valves was 45 minutes. Using “simple math,” she calculated that Enbridge would have a hard time containing a catastrophic oil spill into the waterway.
A standard spill leak, she told the board, of two percent of the pipe’s volume would release more than 1,000 barrels of oil into the water each hour.
Without much fanfare last month, the NEB denied Enbridge’s request to begin flowing oil on Line 9, citing the exact same shut-off valve concerns.
Poll respondents were split on whether First Nations groups should be allowed to block pipeline construction, with a slight edge in favour of supporting it. Canadians surveyed for the poll were asked to gauge their measure of support for First Nations being able to stop proposed pipeline construction in their territory. About 31 per cent of respondents said they supported First Nations, 19 per cent somewhat supported them, 31 per cent opposed pipeline-blocking measures and 15 per cent somewhat opposed the action.
Pipelines remain a top concern for environmentalists, but the Nanos poll suggests Canadians still see pipelines as the most environmentally responsible option available to transport oil. Sixty-two per cent of respondents said pipelines were the most environmentally responsible method, which far outstrips all other options on the list. Train transport was a distant second at eight per cent, followed by truck (three per cent) and oil tanker (two per cent).
The support for First Nations is great given all the racism that still exists in Canada.
I see pipelines as the safest means of transport but that doesn't mean I am okay with building more. It is always presented as though we must choose one or the other; that if we refuse pipelines it will go out by rail. It's not true. The railroads don't have the capacity to take the full load of expotential development of the oil sands. Current production is putting a strain on them and interfered with grain shipments. The oil sands will not be developed expotentially without the certainty that a pipeline will be built.
The other notion, that the Canadian economy will collapse without a pipeline, is also false. Not building another pipeline is not going to stop current production. The drop in price will hurt over the short to medium term but we will adjust and have a much more balanced economy as a result.
It's great that the drop happened under Harper's watch because even though he has no control over it we are going to feel the pain before the election and he will be held responsible for making us so dependent.
Industry Minister Moore Makes Stuff Up to Threaten British Columbians
Industry Minister James Moore who represents the Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam riding engaged in blatantly false fear mongering last week. He threatened a Lac Megantic disaster if we don’t accept Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. In order to springboard from a disgusting reliance on a horrific tragedy to reach his ridiculous conclusion, he had to make stuff up.
These are desperate tactics from someone who as an elected Member of Parliament and Minister of the Crown should know better. He said, “The people of Lac Mégantic wished they had pipelines instead of rail.” If Mr. Moore and his Tory government colleagues had done their job, Lac Megantic would not have happened.
Instead of acting responsibly, Mr. Moore follows up his toxic logic with a distasteful chaser. “It’s very dangerous for the Lower Mainland ... to have the massive spike in rail transfer of dangerous goods,” he said. Moore is reported to have pointed to the huge rail yard in the heart of Port Coquitlam claiming an increasing number of trains are arriving there carrying diluted bitumen crude that has no other way to get to foreign markets.
That’s just not true. There are no facilities on the west coast to transfer crude oil from tank cars to marine shipping vessels. CP spokesperson Jeremy Berry confirmed, “CP does not ship oil along its line to Vancouver for export”.
Mark Hallman, CN’s director of communications and public affairs explained by email that, “CN has never transported crude oil or diluted bitumen to any British Columbia port or terminal for export via ocean-going vessel, and has no plans to do so.”....
First Nations leader calls on former AFN chiefs to quit Prince Rupert oil project
The leader of the most prominent B.C. First Nations group opposing oilsands pipelines to the north coast issued an ultimatum Wednesday to two former national aboriginal leaders.
Art Sterritt of B.C. Coastal First Nations said former Assembly of First Nations grand chiefs Shawn Atleo of B.C. and Ovide Mercredi of Manitoba should withdraw their participation in the $10-billion “world’s greenest refinery” project proposed for the Prince Rupert area.
If they don’t, Sterritt said, Coastal First Nations will launch an aggressive effort to discredit Pacific Future Energy’s project and their role in promoting it. Sterritt said his members don’t trust the company’s vow to build a project that doesn’t pose a major environmental threat.
Pacific Future is headed by Samer Salameh, an executive with the Mexican industrial conglomerate Grupo Salinas. The company announced in December that Atleo would assume the role of “senior advisor-partnerships” on the company’s senior management team.
Sterritt said First Nations leaders have muted their concerns out of respect for Atleo, a member of the Nuu-chah-nulth Nation on the west coast of Vancouver Island who stepped down as AFN leader last year.
But Sterritt said the gloves will come off if he can’t meet with Atleo and Mercredi and persuade them to abandon the company.
“I’m trying to set up a meeting and say, ‘hey guys, you’ve got a chance to bail on this or we’re coming after you,’” Sterritt said in an interview.
“We can’t allow them to pacify everybody, or make people in Alberta and everywhere else think that just because they’re involved that we’re all going to roll over here.”
How Trans Mountain Project Will Pump Profits to Its Texas Owners
U.S.-based Kinder Morgan says its Trans Mountain expansion project represents financial and economic benefit to the Canadian economy, and our federal and provincial public treasuries.
Who would spend a year investigating such claims, rooted as they are in complex tax law, regulations and corporate structure? I did.
What I found made me conclude the opposite -- Kinder Morgan drains financial wealth from our economy and does not pay its fair share of taxes.
I have written about the project's complicated design to yield meagre tax revenues for Canadians in a previous Tyee article.
Now let me examine just how Canadian Kinder Morgan Canada Inc. is. The answer: hardly at all.
Pop the hood and take a look at Kinder Morgan's inner workings and the idea that this is a Canadian company operating for the good of Canadians is dispelled quicker than Kinder Morgan can say injunction.
If you are bored by arcane discussions of corporate structure and governance, that may be just what Kinder Morgan is hoping.
Please bear with me. It's critical we know who really runs, and benefits from, Kinder Morgan Canada Inc....
First Nation’s FIPA Challenge Rejected, Supreme Court Next?
A small B.C. First Nation’s duty-to-consult legal challenge of the Canada-China foreign investment promotion and protection agreement (FIPA) has been dismissed with costs for a second time, a few months after the Harper government brought the FIPA into force.
The Federal Court of Appeal delivered its 41-page reasons for judgment against the Hupacasath on Friday, upholding the August 2013 federal court decision by Justice Paul S. Crampton.
“The Federal Court’s overall conclusions — that the appellant had not established a causal relationship between the effects of the foreign investment promotion and protection agreement upon the appellant and its asserted rights and interests and that any effects upon the appellant were ‘non-appreciable” and ‘speculative’ — were predominantly factual in nature and deserve deference. These conclusions were amply supported by the evidentiary record,” the judgment says.
“Accordingly, Canada did not have to consult with the appellant before entering into the foreign investment promotion and protection agreement. Therefore, I would dismiss the appeal with costs.”
Leadnow, a group that helped fundraise for the legal challenge, reported after the initial ruling that the government had asked for over $100,000 in costs for its legal team and expert witnesses....
Holding That FN Line
The Dené people of Ducharme have been holding the line against oil companies eyeing minerals and oil they hope to exploit in the area. From blocking access to trap lines with security gates and on to destroying the habitat and wildlife in the region, a strong group of First Nations peoples — with support from many others who are not actually in the camp — have been fighting against the endangerment of the environment and the destruction of their sustainable way of life.
The oil companies argue that they have agreements in place with the Mayor and Council of La Loche, however, this is Dené Territory; La Loche doesn’t hold jurisdiction over the land.
The Denesuline are hardest hit: Their rights are being marginalized, and their concerns are being negated. Oil companies focus their attention on city and town councils, and oftentimes refuse to consider their legal duty to consult certain Aboriginal groups in the process.
In December, the RCMP issued a court injunction against those who set up the “Holding The Line” camp, and threatened participants with arrest if they continued to with the blockade and peaceful protest.
So what exactly are the issues here past the trap lines being cut?
Thirty Years of BC Indian Law Condensed For Two Hundred
During a stunning performance of recollection, Louise Mandell captivated a crowd of mostly Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en peoples as she recounted their history.
Louise Mandell was absolutely clear on one fact; the BC Government along with the BC Treaty Commission (BCTC) are performing actions which are illegal. Some of the negotiations presently underway, along with the permits being issued to development and resource projects, breech clearly defined Canadian Law.
And Mandell is no light weight. She was one of the lawyers engaged in both these cases and in many others. She has been engaged in arguing and defending indigenous title and rights law successfully in BC and in the Supreme Court of Canada for over thirty years. If clarity and the ability to express incredibly difficult legal issues and concepts in a manner any person could understand, Mandell may be the very best legal mind in Canada on these matters.
The gathering of approximately 200 Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en citizens was held on Monday, January 19, at the Gitanmaax Hall near the Village of Old Hazelton. This location is remarkable, as it is locally known as the foundation of all the NW Indigenous peoples. Temlaham or Demalahamid is believed to have its origins at the confluence of the Skeena and Bulkley Rivers. Many relate the ancient stories told and retold in the Feast Halls for thousands of years of God or the Great Spirit landing the first peoples canoe at this location....
City of Burnaby wants Kinder Morgan to be Ordered to Divulge Costs and Funding Sources for Multimillion Dollar Advertising Campaign
“Back in 2011,” says Mayor Derek Corrigan, “even though Kinder Morgan’s proposal was not approved and had not been deemed by any government to be in the public interest, Kinder Morgan received National Energy Board approval to charge an unprecedented $1.45/barrel surcharge to shippers on oil shipped through their existing pipeline -- to fund the current pipeline expansion application. These fees will allow Kinder Morgan to amass $136.3 million earmarked for pre-development costs for the pipeline expansion
“This removed risk from Kinder Morgan and passed it on to Canadian consumers. Kinder Morgan Canada President Ian Anderson told his investors 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.’
“At the time, we were shocked to learn that our federal government enabled Kinder Morgan and its shareholders to avoid any financial risks associated with the pipeline expansion proposal, ensuring that those costs would, instead, be passed on to shippers and, in turn, to consumers of oil and gas. In contrast, Burnaby has not received any funds to protect the interests of the City and its citizens.
“It is a bad policy, regardless of what aspect of the project proposal the fees are paying for. But if these federal-government-sanctioned shipping fees are funding Kinder Morgan’s current multimillion dollar ad campaign, it would be particularly inappropriate.
“We want to know whether or not some of these ‘firm service fees’ are being used to pay for the cost of Kinder Morgan’s advertising that is clearly nothing more than an attempt to improve their tainted corporate image.”
..this is what some of the struggles here look like. govs trying to do an end run around 1st peoples.
Approximately $6 million for Moricetown Band, LNG Pipeline Benefit Agreement
The Moricetown Band has signed a pipeline benefit agreement with the province for TransCanada’s proposed Coastal GasLink pipeline project.
Moricetown Band chief Barry Nikal said the journey has been challenging and hard on the community.
“Many of our members have been hurt through this process but we now have the resources to come back together and restore our collective strength. Thank you to all the Elders, Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs and passionate community members who voiced their support for our decision.”
Moricetown Band will receive approximately $6 million as project milestones are reached: $998,000 upon the agreement coming into effect, $2.49 million when construction begins, and $2.49 million once the pipeline is operating....
No Band Councils or Tribal Councils have jurisdiction over Unist’ot’en territory
TALBITS KWA, Sovereign Unist'ot'en Territory
Since 2010, the Unist'ot'en have occupied and defended their traditional territory from pipeline development in defiance of industry, the province of British Columbia, and the government of Canada. Recently they exposed secretive talks between the Moricetown Band Council and the Pacific Trails Pipeline (PTP).
Fossil fuel divestment fever hits UBC and other Canadian campuses
Can universities really force a change in the world’s fossil fuel companies?
More than 220 University of British Columbia professors think so.
In a key faculty vote this week, the educators signed a petition pledging they will cast their ballots to urge UBC to sell off the university's holdings of the world’s “200 most polluting” fossil fuel companies. They want the university's corporate stocks in oil, coal and gas divested, all in the next five years.
"Humanity confronts a grave and urgent crisis in climate change," states the professors' online letter.
UBC is the latest campus to catch what has become a nationwide fossil fuel divestment fever.
Some 30 Canadian universities now have active campaigns, including the University of Toronto, Simon Fraser University, the University of Victoria and McGill. Ten campuses have had successful student votes to divest, and four have had faculty votes in favour of the idea. (Full list at end of story.)...