These are just a few of the words that have been used to describe the
National Energy Board’s (NEB) review of Kinder Morgan’s dangerous
pipeline and tankers proposal.
In 2012, Ottawa rewrote the NEB
rule book, further tilting the playing field in favour of proponents
such as Kinder Morgan. The new rules blatantly remove obstacles to
fossil fuel expansion and the federal government’s ambitions to turn
Canada into an “energy superpower”.
If you think that’s wrong, please sign our petition
calling for the provincial government to withdraw from the Kinder
Morgan process and for new rules that impose a mandatory climate test on
all energy infrastructure proposals.
It’s time to draw the
line on giving fossil fuel proposals a free pass. We can no longer in
good conscience ignore the associated climate impacts. And it’s time to
stop muzzling legitimate democratic debate around our future.
The catalogue of outrages in the Kinder Morgan review process defies belief. Here is just a small sampling:
2,118 people asked to have a say in the Kinder Morgan decision, but
only 400 were granted intervenor status, while 798 were allowed to write
a single letter of comment, leaving the rest silenced. Just this week, a
group of rejected applicants took their case to the Supreme Court of
Questions unanswered The old rules
allowed oral cross-examination of evidence. There’s a reason oral
cross-examination is used in court: it’s the best way to get at flaws in
evidence and arguments. Which apparently is a problem, because the new
rules only allow written “information requests”. And the NEB isn’t even
requiring a response: Kinder Morgan has ignored 2,385 of the 2,500
requests for information about their proposal and isn’t even required to
let the B.C. government know their plans for emergency spill response.
Kinder Morgan is being shielded from scrutiny by the very system that is
supposed to do the scrutinizing!
First Nations rights violated
Twelve First Nations have written an open letter challenging the
constitutionality of the NEB’s approach, mostly because there has been
no meaningful consultation at any stage of the process. This lays the
groundwork for legal challenges once the proposal is approved.
Climate? What climate?
Never mind that the Kinder Morgan pipeline would release 120 million
tonnes of CO2 every year (equivalent to roughly twice B.C.’s annual
reported emissions) into the atmosphere over several decades. No, any
discussion of climate has been banished from the NEB’s deliberations. In
addition, slippery new language requires you to be “directly affected”
to have a voice. This language has been used to disqualify climate
scientists from participating in the process. It’s time our governments
connected the dots: we are all “directly affected” by climate change, as
sea levels rise, as oceans acidify and as wildfires, droughts and
extreme weather events become more common. And on that basis, we all
deserve a say in proposals that “directly affect” our climate.
Two crucial things need to happen. First, the provincial government must withdraw from the NEB process.
This can be accomplished very simply: all Victoria has to do is write a
letter to the federal government providing 30 days’ notice. This will
rescind the so-called Equivalency Agreement whereby the Province handed
over its power to undertake an environmental assessment of Kinder
Morgan’s proposal to the federal government. It’s not too late to take
that power back. Please tell Victoria to write that letter today!
provincial government must subject Kinder Morgan (and all other energy
infrastructure proposals) to a B.C. environmental assessment that
includes a scientifically rigorous climate test. We are
calling for a B.C. Climate Test that takes a “wellhead to wheels”
approach—in other words, all greenhouse gas emissions from extraction to
transportation to eventual burning must be counted when assessing the
climate impact of a proposed project. Consideration must also be given
to whether competing proposals offer more climate-friendly alternatives.
Fail to pass the test, and your project is a non-starter.
It all boils down to this choice: we can test energy proposals for
their climate-friendliness, or we can face a climate that tests us, ever
more harshly, for our fitness to steward this planet.
essential we deliver a strong clear message to the politicians in
Victoria: British Columbians want control of our energy future and we
want our climate to be a central consideration in all decision-making.