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Kinder Morgan

Kinder Morgan’s Transmountain pipeline project would greatly expand capacity by building a new pipeline that would carry more than a million barrels of tar sands crude each day from northern Alberta 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.    

Oppostion from First Nations and the municipalities of Vancouver and Buraby has increased signifcantly, because 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. Polling indicates 50 per cent of British Columbians are opposed. The risk of inevitable spills and leaks threaten 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, B.C.
Key Problems:
- 5X more super tankers in Vancouver harbour
- Local taxpayers on hook for 90% of spill clean up costs 
- Oil spills threaten tens of thousands of tourism, real estate, creative jobs
Current Status:
- Application process delayed because National Energy Board demanded more information from Kinder Morgan
- Decision slated for early 2016

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

American tribes oppose Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion in B.C.

Mychaylo Prystupa | Vancouver Observer - October 28th 2014

Press Clipping: With an eagle soaring overhead, American and Canadian Coast Salish people gathered on the banks of the Fraser River in Chilliwack, B.C. to do prayers in advance of their presentations to oppose the $5.4-billion Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion at the National Energy Board hearings. “[The pipeline] is something that we do not need,” said Brian Cladoosby, President of the National Congress for American Indians, representing 566 U.S. tribes.

Kinder Morgan’s Qs on Aboriginal food provokes avalanche of fish photos

Mychaylo Prystupa | Vancouver Observer - October 22nd 2014

Press Clipping: Hundreds of aboriginal people took the bait of an impromptu viral social media campaign to submit their favourite fishing pictures, following a Vancouver Observer story last week that reported that pipeline giant Kinder Morgan had questioned how much a B.C. band still eats fish. Green Party of B.C.’s interim leader Adam Olsen thought the question was fishy, so asked aboriginal people to share their fish photos. The response was overwhelming.

NEB hears anti-pipeline sentiment from First Nations at Chilliwack hearings

Paul J. Henderson | Chilliwack Times - October 22nd 2014

Press Clipping: For Sto:lo people with links to their ancient traditions, the landscapes that surround them are not just important as sources of food, water and shelter. The trees, the mountains and the rivers are their ancestors. That was part of Albert "Sonny" McHalsie's message to the National Energy Board (NEB) during the first day of seven days of aboriginal oral traditional evidence into the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

NEB orders Kinder Morgan to reveal its “secret” oil disaster response plans

Mychaylo Prystupa | Vancouver Observer - October 8th 2014

Press Clipping: Vancouver, Burnaby, the provincial government and First Nations win a ruling denying Kinder Morgan's request to keep its emergency management plans confidential. Texas-based Kinder Morgan has been ordered to disclose its emergency response plans for oil spills and catastrophic fires for its proposed Edmonton-to-Burnaby pipeline expansion proposal, despite attempts by the company keep its plans secret.

Abbotsford, Langley back Burnaby in NEB hearing over Burnaby Mountain

Jennifer Moreau | Burnaby Now - October 2nd 2014

Press Clipping: The National Energy Board is holding an oral hearing on Oct. 8 in Calgary to resolve the legal imbroglio between the city and Kinder Morgan over the Burnaby Mountain conservation area. “We requested that the hearings take place here,” Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan said in a media release on Monday. Langley and Abbotsford, two municipalities already granted intervenor status in the pipeline hearing, plan to back Burnaby in the Oct. 8 hearing, and the city’s lawyer expects more to come forward.

Cities rising: B.C. municipal leaders demand a bigger say over oil pipelines

Mychaylo Prystupa | Vancouver Observer - September 29th 2014

Press Clipping: At the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Whistler this week, one visible sign of rising local government activism against oil pipeline projects from Alberta was on municipal leaders’ wrists: a simple blue band. Duncan city councillor Michelle Bell wore one. She, along with leaders of other heavyweight communities – Vancouver, Burnaby and Victoria – supported UBCM motions aimed squarely against Kinder Morgan and the National Energy Board.

Burnaby wins ruling against Kinder Morgan


Mychaylo Prystupa | Vancouver Observer - September 26th 2014

Press Clipping: In what's considered a huge win for the City of Burnaby's legal battle to stop the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, the National Energy Board struck down the company's application to forbid Burnaby city staff from blocking the pipeline company's test drilling on Burnaby Mountain. “Kinder Morgan is this arrogant company who assumed they could just go in and take direct action [to remove trees], based on their legal interpretation," said Burnaby's lawyer, Gregory McDade, Q.C. Thursday evening. "They thumbed their nose at the law. It turns out they were wrong."