VANCOUVER – January 11, 2015—Living Oceans was extremely pleased to learn this morning that the B.C. Government has climbed down off the fence on the subject of the Kinder Morgan pipeline proposal to expand its Trans Mountain pipeline into Burnaby. The organization learned today that the government will file its rejection of the proposal with the National Energy Board today.
The decision by B.C. comes just a month after the publication of the latest study on the behaviour of diluted bitumen when it is spilled into water. On December 8, 2015, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences published the most comprehensive review yet of the actual behaviour of this unique fossil fuel, concluding that there is no spill response technology that can be relied upon to clean it up when it is spilled into water.
“We’ve been saying all along that the evidence indicates that diluted bitumen can submerge or sink, especially in fresh or brackish waters. Once it does that, it can’t be confined or skimmed off the surface the way conventional spill response equipment works,” said Karen Wristen, Executive Director of Living Oceans Society.
The inability of Kinder Morgan to satisfy the B.C. Government on spill response capacity meant it failed to satisfy two of Premier Clark’s five conditions of approval. “The pipeline and tanker proposal actually continues to fail all five conditions, as it continues to be opposed by affected First Nations and represents no net gain for Canada, much less the Province of B.C.,” said Wristen. “No matter how they try to shore up the evidence in the public domain, the fact remains that the pipeline isn’t needed at current or future production levels in Alberta’s tarsands.”
Living Oceans filed evidence produced by Simon Fraser University, analysing the economic evidence of Kinder Morgan. It concluded that the project would actually cost Canadians an estimated $7.4 billion.
The majority of the $7.4 billion cost attributed to the proposal is the unnecessary investment in new pipeline capacity. “Even taking Northern Gateway and Keystone XL out of the forecast and using the most optimistic predictions of future oil production from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, building the TMEP along with other proposed projects would result in excess pipeline capacity until 2034,” said Dr. Gunton. “Under the CAPP low production scenarios, TMEP will never be needed.”