Massive Response to Kinder Morgan Despite Hurdles
Despite numerous obstacles to participation, approximately 2,000 respondents applied to participate in the National Energy Board (NEB) public review process for Kinder Morgan’s proposed new Trans Mountain Pipeline.
“Given the constraints of the application process, the huge response confirms just how important this issue is for British Columbians,” says Sierra Club BC campaigns director Caitlyn Vernon. “Nothing has changed here in B.C. A clear majority still do not want tankers and pipelines threatening B.C.'s jobs, communities, and valuable natural environment.”
The new pipeline proposed by the Texas-based corporation would bring over 400 tankers a year across the Salish Sea, carrying tar sands crude to international markets in the U.S. and Asia, putting B.C.’s coast and salmon rivers at risk of oil spills.
The application process, which closed on Feb 12, 2014, only opened on Jan 14, 2014, leaving a very small window for applications. This was especially difficult for municipalities and other larger bodies who require more time to pass major decisions through an approval process. Nevertheless, numerous municipalities have applied for intervenor status, including Vancouver, Surrey, Burnaby, Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Kamloops.
The diverse range of applicants also include residents, First Nations on both sides of the border, golf courses, environmentalists, condo councils and car dealers. Read more in the Vancouver Observer.
Not only was the online application form itself unnecessarily lengthy and complicated, applicants had to justify how they will be “directly affected” by the project under a very narrow set of conditions. The NEB will not be considering the impacts of tar sands expansion linked to the proposed pipeline, or the greenhouse gas emissions produced by burning the heavy crude oil it transports.
“Submissions will only be accepted if the NEB deems an applicant is ‘directly affected’ or has ‘relevant expertise,' however their definition of “directly affected” excludes many British Columbians.” says Vernon. “We are all directly affected by proposals that threaten B.C.’s lands, waters and climate and we all deserve a say in whether they are approved."
Take action now and call on the province of BC to oppose Kinder Morgan's proposed pipeline and reject all new pipeline and tanker projects in British Columbia.