For Immediate Release - May 17, 2016
Tough road ahead for pipeline panel as community opposition widespread
New map shows major concerns from 12 municipalities and 38 First Nations along the proposed pipeline and tanker route.
VANCOUVER - The Kinder Morgan pipeline panel appointed this morning by the federal government is faced with the impossible task of gaining social licence from BC communities.
While Burnaby, Vancouver and Tsleil-Waututh Nation have been vocal in their opposition, a new map released today shows numerous other municipalities and First Nations along the proposed pipeline and tanker route have widespread concerns.
“The NEB is likely to approve the Kinder Morgan pipeline this week although dozens of communities and First Nations across the province are against it and will only fight harder now,” said Peter McCartney, Climate Campaigner at the Wilderness Committee.
In January, representatives from over 50 communities and First Nations told the National Energy Board (NEB) about local risks from the pipeline. Wilderness Committee created an interactive map that displays testimony from communities and First Nations living along the route. It shows how widely held fears are about Kinder Morgan.
“During the 2015 federal election, Prime Minister Trudeau said ‘governments grant permits, but only communities grant permission,’ ” said McCartney. “However, no amount of pressure from the Alberta or Federal governments will allay the significant risk of spills, the lack of First Nations consent, the shoddy economics or the climate impacts associated with the project.”
Concerns were related to the risk of spills of diluted bitumen into the Fraser River or the Salish Sea, with impacts to water, health, food, culture, protected areas and local economies. Some highlighted experiences with past oil spills from the existing Trans Mountain pipeline.
Many Indigenous communities stressed their lack of consent for the project and the need to respect Aboriginal title and rights. Municipalities shared concerns about an inadequate spill response plan and lack of capacity to respond. Together they highlight the environmental, social and economic threat posed by this pipeline.
“Throughout this flawed review process, the National Energy Board has allowed Kinder Morgan to ignore the significant, documented safety concerns of communities and individuals all along the proposed pipeline route,” said Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan.
The map and information about risks with the project can be found at a new website launched today by a growing network of 15 organizations working to engage the public in stopping Kinder Morgan. ForTheCoast.ca also highlights alternatives that will create more jobs and shared community benefits while also helping BC be a world leader in climate solutions.
For more information, please contact:
Peter McCartney | Climate Campaigner, Wilderness Committee