Thursday, December 17, 2015

A Kinder Morgan Cheat Sheet for the NEB

Memo -- Kinder Morgan Cheat Sheet: A Dangerous Kind of Oil Company


December 17, 2015

Vancouver, BC - Today Texas oil company Kinder Morgan is meeting with the National Energy Board to present their final arguments on their Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline proposal.

Harper’s second favourite pipeline company and Harper’s tainted energy regulator will try to find a way to build their dangerous, unwanted tar sands pipeline. Piping tar sands 1,150 kilometers from Alberta to Vancouver is a bad idea for public safety and the environment. The NEB members must realize that they are far from ready to independently or thoroughly evaluate the safety this proposed project.

The first question they must ask, just who is Kinder Morgan and what is their record? We can help answer this important question with a quick Kinder Morgan cheat sheet:

1. Kinder Morgan Has a Dismal Safety Record: Kinder Morgan's existing Trans Mountain pipeline has spilled 78 times since it started operating in 1961. That’s a spill every 8 months for 54 years. In the United States the company has an even worse record -- including $10 million fines for criminal negligence resulting in worker death, $300,000 fines for negligence, at least 45 occupational health and safety violations since 2006, and more than 180 spills, accidents, fires, evacuations, explosions and fatalities since 2003.
2. Kinder Morgan Isn’t Up to the Job: Kinder Morgan says it has a reliable and trustworthy plan for dealing with oil spills in the cold seawater of Burrard Inlet. But every study concludes the same thing: bitumen sinks in water, and cleaning it up would require technology and oversight that doesn't exist yet. The US National Academy of Sciences delivered their review to Congress on December 8, noting that current pipeline proposals and emergency response plans like the one that Kinder Morgan is rushing forward are based on conventional crude, without an adequate understanding of the dangerous and unconventional properties of diluted tar sands.
3. Kinder Morgan has NO support from Indigenous nations: In B.C. much of the route the proposed twinned pipeline would cross is on unceded First Nation land. This includes the lands of the Squamish, Tsleil-Watouth and Musqueam Nations whose traditional lands and waters encompass the Salish sea and what is now known as Burrard Inlet; along with those of the Sto:lo nation in the Fraser Valley. None of these nations support the Kinder Morgan project.
4. It's the Climate, Stupid: Last Saturday Canada joined 194 other nations in signing the Paris Agreement on climate change, pledging to try and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. That legally-binding agreement will require Canada to make deep cuts to its current CO2 emissions, meaning a lot more tar sands is going to need to stay in the ground. If we're serious about climate change—and we just signed a legal international document saying we are—then Kinder Morgan's expansion simply cannot happen. Wall Street has already gotten the message, just last week Kinder Morgan slashed its shareholder dividend as investors realized the company was grossly overvalued.

The NEB review process for this pipeline is a farce. Already the NEB removed oral hearings, greatly limited the participants, and had to stop and restart the process once it was revealed that a Kinder Morgan contractor had joined the NEB and was going to be approving an economic analysis he wrote himself. Meanwhile, thanks to reduced oversight and lax regulatory authority put in place by the Harper Government, it will be even more difficult to force Kinder Morgan to do what they say they will if the project is approved.

The NEB has made a serious error in judgement allowing Kinder Morgan to continue a rushed and shoddy decision making process that still shows the Harper Government’s fingerprints. And Kinder Morgan has proven itself to be a dirty and dangerous kind of oil company. So for the safety of the BC coast, and the cities, towns and tribes along the proposed pipeline route, we will reject the Kinder Morgan pipeline.



December 17, 2015

For more information:

Sven Biggs - Pipeline Campaigner

ForestEthics demands accountability for our health, our climate and our wild places.

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