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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

Mayors stand together against Kinder Morgan pipeline proposal

Editors | Tar Sands Solutions - April 2nd 2015

Blog Post: The mayors of Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, City of North Vancouver, Victoria, Squamish and Bowen Island are pushing the federal government to put the Kinder Morgan pipeline proposal on hold until the National Energy Board addresses the significant deficiencies in its public hearing and review process. All mayors agree that the federal government must step in and introduce a fair and rigorous public hearing process that takes into account input from all stakeholders and cross-examination of witnesses, the same standard applied previously for all other projects.

Don’t build more pipelines


Tim Gray | Environmental Defence - February 26th 2015

Press Clipping: Federal politicians can’t have it both ways on climate. Far too many Canadian politicians hold the erroneous view that we can address climate change while, at the same time, growing the tar sands and their pipelines. We can’t. There is a direct link between the pipelines, tar sands expansion, and carbon emissions. Industry needs the pipelines to grow. Industry officials have said so on multiple occasions. The most direct way to address the environmental impacts of pipelines is, of course, not to build the pipelines. Building pipelines while smiling and talking soothingly about better listening won’t change the carbon emissions math.

Washington State can view spill-response plans for pipeline that B.C. cannot

David Geselbracht | Globe and Mail - February 23rd 2015

Press Clipping: Washington State has documents outlining emergency response plans for a Kinder Morgan pipeline – plans similar to those British Columbians have been told by Canada’s National Energy Board they’re not allowed to see due to security concerns. NDP environment critic Spencer Chandra Herbert wants to know why a similarly detailed plan isn’t available for B.C. residents. “We need to be able to get at least the information they are providing in Washington State,” he said.

Vancouver remains disappointed in pipeline review process

Shane Woodford | CKNW - February 22nd 2015

Press Clipping: The city of Vancouver says the National Energy Board review of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion continues to be an exercise in frustration. Even though Kinder Morgan says it has provided tens of thousands of documents to the NEB in response to intervenor questions Deputy city manager Sadhu Johnston says they are still waiting. “So far Trans Mountain has refused to answer or has inadequately answered more than 100 of our questions,” Johnson said.

Feds cite whales Vs. tankers

February 18th 2015

Press Clipping: A federal report warns industry proposals to ship oil from British Columbia fail to address critical issues affecting whale populations. The Department of Fisheries analysis expressed concern with claims by Kinder Morgan Canada over the impact of oil tanker traffic off the B.C. coast. “There are deficiencies in both the assessment of potential effects resulting from ship strikes and exposure to underwater noise,” wrote a department secretariat; “Ship strike is a threat of conservation concern, particularly for baleen whales.”

MLAs request B.C. government withdraw from federal Kinder Morgan review

Carol Linnitt | DeSmog Canada - February 17th 2015

Press Clipping: Members of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia will request the Liberal government pull out of the federal National Energy Board’s review of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. “The NEB process I think has been broken in large part because of the actions Stephen Harper’s government has taken,” said NDP MLA Chandra Herbert. "We can’t get access to answers about spill response, climate change, financial information, emergency management and there is no cross examination of Kinder Morgan so to test their evidence is pretty much impossible.”

Trans Mountain drops civil action against Burnaby Kinder Morgan protesters

February 3rd 2015

Press Clipping: In what one anti-pipeline activist is calling a "PR move," Trans Mountain said it will not pursue its civil action against five Burnaby Mountain protesters named in a multimillion-dollar lawsuit. Simon Fraser University English professor Stephen Collis said it was evidence that the protests had worked, and that the pressure on Kinder Morgan had forced it to try to "save face" by dropping the lawsuit and changing its media campaign.

Kinder Morgan’s sustainable seafood dinner disrupted.


January 27th 2015

Visual: This action of how activists punked Kinder Morgan executives at dinner this weekend is AMAZING. Please watch the video! Note how much more powerful the action was because it was led by front line community leaders, with a message of how the tar sands impacts their health and human rights, rather than it being another action about climate / environmental values on their own. More powerful + less easy to dismiss. This kind of work is the future of the movement.