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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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Overview:
- 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

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

Feature

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."

Cross-border indigenous treaty takes on Kinder Morgan pipeline

David P. Ball | The Tyee - September 25th 2014

Press Clipping: Freshly fed with a wild salmon feast and stirred by drumming and anti-oilsands proclamations, a crowd of several hundred stood en masse to loudly sing Tsleil-Waututh Nation's anthem on Sunday. Roughly 500 people crammed into the First Nation's North Shore community centre on the eve of what the band's culture and language manager Gabriel George dubbed an "historic event" -- the signing of an intertribal treaty against Kinder Morgan's proposed pipeline through southern B.C.

Pipeline plans high on Union of B.C. Municipalities agenda

Bill Cleverley | Times Colonist - September 22nd 2014

Press Clipping: Everything from pipelines to secondary suites will be up for debate next week as hundreds of local government politicians take a break from campaigning to meet in Whistler for the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention. Victoria hopes to have an emergency resolution debated calling on the province to conduct its own environmental assessment of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Keep Kinder Morgan out of BC Parks

Editors | Tar Sands Solutions Network - September 16th 2014

Blog Post: The provincial government has quietly invited comment on Kinder Morgan’s application to change the boundaries of four parks in order to build its proposed Trans Mountain pipeline. It’s time to say “no” to Kinder Morgan’s plan to slice and dice these four provincial parks and “no” to our government’s approach of bending over backwards to meet the needs of tarsands pipeline proponents and other industrial interests!

B.C. city asks court to block Kinder Morgan pipeline work

September 11th 2014

Press Clipping: A suburban city near Vancouver has filed a civil lawsuit targeting Kinder Morgan's controversial Trans Mountain pipeline, alleging the company caused "irreparable harm" to a sensitive conservation area when workers cut down trees along the route of a proposed expansion. The City of Burnaby filed a notice with B.C. Supreme Court asking for an injunction to prevent Kinder Morgan from felling trees on Burnaby Mountain, as well as a judgment overturning a National Energy Board ruling that said the work could proceed.

Kinder Morgan trying to force Burnaby to stop blocking pipeline survey work

Peter O'Neil | Vancouver Sun - September 5th 2014

Press Clipping: The broken relationship between the City of Burnaby and Kinder Morgan Canada, the company behind a proposed $5.8 billion oil pipeline through the community, hit another low Thursday with legal threats and duelling tree experts. “Even though this pipeline has not been approved, Kinder Morgan thinks nothing of illegally entering our park, causing irreparable harm to the ecosystem and defying the laws our citizens have put in place,” Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan said. He predicts his city’s bylaws will trump federal legislation.

City of Vancouver teams up with environmental organizations to research dangers of pipeline spill

August 28th 2014

Press Clipping: The potential spread of a possible oil spill from the proposed Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline is being assessed today by a simulated spill in the Fraser River and Burrard Inlet. The simulation, developed by the City of Vancouver. Raincoast Conservation Foundation and the Georgia Strait Alliance, drops biodegradable yellow plywood cards in the waters of the Fraser River and tracks their drift on a map to show the potential reach of a pipeline oil spill.