National Energy Board Recommends Kinder Morgan Project
Today the National Energy Board (NEB) recommended Cabinet approve the Kinder Morgan TransMountain Expansion project, subject to 157 conditions. Transition Initiative Kenora stands with its community and First Nations allies in British Columbia who have formally opposed this project that would threaten coastal waters, ecosystems, and the global climate.
The people of British Columbia, including 17 First Nations and more than 2 million people in 20 communities, including the Cities of Vancouver and Burnaby, have not granted permission to the Kinder Morgan pipeline project. Over the past five years, thousands of people from across BC have been arrested, protested, and spoken out against the Kinder Morgan pipeline. The people of British Columbia will not let the Government of Canada force a pipeline where it’s not wanted. The people of British Columbia and their allies stand firmly as condition #158.
The National Energy Board’s recommendation comes despite finding the project would cause significant adverse impacts to the Southern resident orca whales on BC’s south coast from increasing marine shipping to as many as 400 oil tankers per year from the Port of Vancouver, as well as significant adverse impacts to First Nations whose cultures are intimately linked to marine mammals and marine ecosystems.
Also today, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) released a report on the project’s upstream greenhouse gas emissions, which estimates that just to fill this pipeline, between 20-26 million tonnes of CO2 would be emitted, or the equivalent of adding 4.2 to 5.5 million cars to the roads each year.
The NEB’s report and recommendation has now been given to Cabinet, and it will form part of the evidence Cabinet uses to make its decision on the project, due in December 2016. Other evidence will come from the ECCC greenhouse gas emissions report; the November 2016 report of a new 3-member panel announced earlier this week that will oversee further public consultations; and the results of nation-to-nation consultations between the federal government and First Nations along the project route.
As Cabinet begins its deliberations on this project, they must remember their commitments to the United Nation Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), which requires Indigenous communities’ Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC). A project that fails to respect UNDRIP / FPIC is a failed project. A project that fails to gain the consent of affected communities is a project that must fail to gain federal consent. The decision is clear: the Trudeau government must reject this project.