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Kinder Morgan

Kinder Morgan’s Transmountain Pipeline would greatly expand capacity by building a new pipeline from the Alberta tar sands to Vancouver B.C. The pipeline will travel through dozens of small communities and densely populated urban areas, and will vastly increase the number of super tankers sailing through Vancouver's stunning harbour.    

Expanding this pipeline would turn Vancouver – whose stated goal is to become the "greenest city in the world" – into a major heavy oil export port, threatening a thriving economy of service, nature-based tourism, and creative industries. Opposition to this pipeline project grows every day. 

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Tripling capacity of 60 year old pipeline to Vancouver, BC
Key Problems:
- 5X more super tankers in Vancouver harbour
- Local taxpayers on hook for 90% of spill clean up costs 
- Threatens tens of thousands of tourism, real estate, creative jobs
Current Status:
Company filed its application in Dec 2013

This Texas-based oil giant's proposal would increase by five times the number of oil tankers, from 80 a year to 400, that leave Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet Terminal and navigate a narrow stretch of dangerous water before cruising right by the city's beloved beaches and world-famous Stanley Park.

Kinder Morgan wants to use Suezmax oil tankers, which are the same size as the Exxon Valdez and much bigger than the few tankers that ply Vancouver’s waters today. Each super tanker would carry up to one million barrels of heavy and toxic tar sands crude through Burrard Inlet’s Second Narrows, which poses a navigational challenge due to shallow waters and strong tidal currents.

A single spill in Burrard Inlet from either the pipeline or a supertanker would threaten Vancouver’s green reputation and ruin miles of Vancouver coastline, which is dotted with beaches and oceanfront property. It could also cripple a multitude of industries that employ over 200,000 people in nature-based tourism, film and TV, agriculture, and coastal industries.

Cleaning up a spill of this magnitude would be all but impossible. The Canadian and BC governments are wholly unprepared to deal with a major oil spill. The Harper government has shuttered the Coast Guard station in Vancouver and reduced the amount of environmental monitoring. In the end, B.C. taxpayers would be left to foot the bill, because Kinder Morgan's liability is limited to just 10 per cent of what it would cost – at least $15 billion – to clean up the mess they made.

Many of the risks associated with the Northern Gateway Pipeline apply to this project, too. Inevitable pipeline leaks threaten hundreds of salmon-bearing streams, and the roads and ancillary development that would accompany the construction of the pipeline would hurt B.C.’s internationally recognized grizzly bear population. It also unlocks the rapid expansion of the tar sands, which will lead to catasthropic climate change.

The benefits, predictably, are few. It will only create 35 new jobs and provide little revenue to provincial government coffers. That’s why opposition is growing exponentially in British Columbia. Several environmental and community groups have begun working on the issue, and local First Nations have voiced their opposition to the project. 

The expansion of this pipeline locks us into yesterday's destructive oil economy and offers almost no benefit to B.C. It must never be permitted.

Kinder Morgan Updates & Resources

Four charts reveal gigantic climate impact from proposed Kinder Morgan mega-pipeline


April 23rd 2014

Visual: Just how big would the potential climate impact of Kinder Morgan's new TransMountain pipeline be? Climate scientist and BC MLA, Dr. Andrew Weaver, estimated the full "wells-to-wheels" climate impact of each barrel of bitumen at 0.572 tonnes of CO2. Multiplied together yields around 120 million tonnes of CO2 per year. Barry Saxifrage has created these charts to show you just how big that is.

Can a small group of people stop the pipeline?

April 13th 2014

Press Clipping: During the townhall meeting on the proposed expansion of Kinder Morgan's pipeline, Mayor Derek Corrigan said, "I don't want to pretend to you the game isn't fixed. I know the game is fixed. ... We are up against it, but ... things start with a small group of people." It's a bit of a homage to the well-known quote from Margaret Mead: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

Donner, Harrison & Hoberg: Let’s talk about climate change


Simon Donner, Kathryn Harrison and George Hoberg | National Post - April 12th 2014

Press Clipping: Kinder Morgan’s proposal to triple the capacity of its Transmountain pipeline is expected to lead to 50% more carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions each year than all of British Columbia currently produces. That fact prompted 26 university professors who study climate change to apply to lend our expertise to the NEB’s assessment of whether this project is in the public interest. Every one of us was rejected, because we proposed to talk about climate change.

Pipeline planners hear from unhappy public


Matthew Claxton | Langley Advance - April 9th 2014

Press Clipping: The TransMountain pipeline expansion plans drew hundreds of people to an open house held by pipeline owner Kinder Morgan, and quite a few of the residents at the meeting were not happy with the pipeline expansion in general or its proposed route.

Local businesses denied intervenor status in TransMountain hearings

Liz McDowell | CRED BC - April 3rd 2014

Blog Post: CRED BC, a collection of over 90 BC-based businesses, along with several other local business leaders, have been denied intervenor status in hearings on Kinder Morgan's proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Today's announcement by the National Energy Board (NEB) left CRED's members with questions about the hearing process, particularly the level of consideration given to economic concerns. "Such a large infrastructure development project will have direct & lasting impacts on many local businesses," said CRED Executive Director Liz McDowell.

Homeowners dismayed to learn Kinder Morgan wants their land

Kelly Sinoski | Vancouver Sun - March 21st 2014

Press Clipping: When Joy Mancinelli and her neighbours received a hand-delivered package from a land agent hired by Kinder Morgan, it was their first inkling that the proposed new twinned Trans Mountain Pipeline could rip through their backyards. “It goes right across our backyard and then turns and goes around the side of our house, which is most of our property,” said Mancinelli, who has lived in her Fraser Heights home since 1979. “They can just get a right-of-way and waltz across your land and say ‘kiss my butt’ and they’re gone.”