Update: Preparing to Pipe Up Against Kinder Morgan Pipeline
The National Energy Board (NEB) has cancelled further public information sessions into Kinder Morgan’s proposed new Trans Mountain Pipeline, opting instead to do on-line info sessions.
Citizens across the province are concerned that decision may restrict public participation.
Despite the obstacles, we urge you to participate in these online sessions, in order to find out more about how to participate in the upcoming NEB review of the proposed new Kinder Morgan pipeline proposal. The sessions will also be offered by telephone via a toll-free number.
The six web-based presentations at which NEB staff provide information on the NEB hearing process, how to apply to participate, and participant funding, began on November 14, with the final one on November 28.
Kinder Morgan is expected to submit an application to the NEB before the end of the year. 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.
We encourage you to participate in these information sessions not only prepare yourselves to apply to make a submission when the time comes, but also to request that the scope of the process be expanded to include climate considerations and meaningful public participation.
According to the NEB website, the board does not “intend to consider the environmental and socio-economic effects associated with upstream activities, the development of oil sands, or the downstream use of the oil transported by the pipeline.”
However, an effective environmental review process must consider the climate impacts of further tar sands development and end-use of the oil transported by the pipeline.
We also urge you to demand that the public be given a chance to participate with oral statements and that hearings be open to the public. The board suggests that submissions will be limited to communities that are “directly affected.” However we are all directly affected by proposals that threaten our lands, waters and climate and we all deserve a say in whether they are approved.
In preparation for the Kinder Morgan application to the NEB, Sierra Club BC has worked with Raincoast Conservation Foundation and Pipe Up Network to create a backgrounder to help you prepare to participate in the environmental review process. The backgrounder outlines how the Kinder Morgan process is anticipated to be different from the Enbridge Joint Review Panel process.
(NB. The NEB has yet to decide what options will exist for public participation in the review of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain proposal. This backgrounder has been produced using the best available knowledge and will be updated as more information becomes available.)
As more details of the process become known, Sierra Club BC will be available to answer questions, and will provide workshops and support for members of the public who are interested to participate.
Whether we are talking about jobs, ecosystems, communities or our climate, it’s clear that British Columbians need to stand together to oppose both pipelines, and this winter will be a critical time to continue to speak out. Stay tuned over the coming months for opportunities to make your voice heard. And wherever possible, write letters into your community paper, contact your MLAs and MPs, and talk to your neighbours and local businesses about doing the same.