Canada reapproves contentious Pacific coast pipeline 

By Rob Gillies

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

TORONTO- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has once again approved the contentious Trans Mountain pipeline expansion that would nearly triple the flow of oil from the Alberta oil sands to the Pacific Coast.

The approval Tuesday comes 10 months after the Federal Court of Appeal halted the project and ordered Canada’s National Energy Board to redo its review of the pipeline, saying the original study was flawed and lacked adequate consultations with First Nations peoples.

Trudeau’s government first approved it in 2016 and he was so determined to see it built the government bought the pipeline.

Trans Mountain pipeline approved for 2nd time by Trudeau government LIVE: Andrew Scheer on TMX pipeline decision Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer reacts to the federal government's decision on the Trans Mountain pipeline project. Watch LIVE here. LIVE: Provincial reaction to TMX pipeline decision Provincial premiers react to the federal government's decision on the Trans Mountain pipeline project. Watch LIVE here. Government approves Trans Mountain expansion Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces that the government is going forward with the expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline project. 123 CTV News Vancouver Published Tuesday, June 18, 2019 1:53PM PDT Last Updated Tuesday, June 18, 2019 2:50PM PDT The federal government has approved the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion for a second time, a decision expected to trigger a large-scale protest in Vancouver on Tuesday. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the government's renewed support for the project, which is expected to triple the amount of fossil fuels funneled into B.C. through the pipeline, just one day after the Liberals introduced a motion declaring climate change a national emergency. Trudeau argued the goals of protecting the environment and addressing climate change can be reconciled with the expanded sale of Canadian oil. RELATED STORIES Pipeline announcement: 5 things to know about Trans Mountain expansion 'We'll be ready to fight': Protest against Trans Mountain pipeline planned in Vancouver Horgan sticks to his guns ahead of Ottawa's Trans Mountain decision No business case for Trans Mountain e An effigy of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as protesters opposed to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion rally ahead of a decision by Liberal cabinet on the project, in Vancouver, on Sunday June 9, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Officials expect construction to start this year, but it faces stiff environmental opposition from the British Columbia government and from activists.

“The company plans to have shovels in the ground this construction season,” Trudeau said.

The pipeline would allow Canada to diversify oil markets and vastly increase exports to Asia, where it could command a higher price. Canada has the world’s third largest oil reserves, but 99 per cent of its exports now go to refiners in the U.S., where limits on pipeline and refinery capacity mean Canadian oil sells at a discount.

“It’s really simple. Right now, we basically have one customer for our energy resources, the United States. As we’ve seen over the past few years anything can happen with our neighbours to the south,” Trudeau said.

Trudeau said every dollar Canada earns from the project will be invested in clean energy.

The decision is a blow for indigenous leaders and environmentalists, who have pledged to do whatever necessary to thwart the pipeline, including chaining themselves to construction equipment.

Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee is an opponent of the project.

Many indigenous people see the 620 miles (1,000 kilometres) of new pipeline as a threat to their lands, echoing concerns raised by Native Americans about the Keystone XL project in the U.S. Many in Canada say it also raises broader environmental concerns by enabling increased development of the carbon-heavy oil sands.

New Alberta conservative Premier Jason Kenney said his government appreciates the second federal cabinet approval of the project.

“We need to get a fair price for our country’s energy to create good jobs & pay for public services,” Kenney tweeted. “Approval is not construction. So now let’s get it built!”

Analysts have said China is eager to get access to Canada’s oil, but largely gave up hope that a pipeline to the Pacific Coast would be built.

 

Trans Mountain timeline: A look at key dates in the project’s history

OTTAWA- The federal cabinet’s long-awaited decision on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is due Tuesday. Here are some other key dates in the history of the original project and Kinder Morgan Canada’s controversial efforts to expand its capacity:

 

October 1953: The Trans Mountain pipeline begins shipping oil with an initial capacity of 150,000 barrels per day. The project initially features four pump stations along its 1,150-kilometre route and a marine dock that connects loading facilities on the east side of Edmonton with ocean tankers in Burnaby, B.C. It is expanded in 1957 and 2008 to eventually pump up to 300,000 barrels of oil per day.

 

Feb. 21, 2012: Kinder Morgan Canada says it wants to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline after receiving support from oil shippers and will begin public consultations.

 

Dec. 16, 2013: An application is made to the National Energy Board (NEB) to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline. Construction is proposed to begin in 2017, with the aim of having oil flow through the expansion by December 2019.

 

November 2014: More than 100 people are arrested after they camp out in a conservation area on Burnaby Mountain, east of Vancouver, to block crews from conducting drilling and survey work related to the pipeline expansion. Most of the charges are later dropped.

 

August 2015: The NEB postpones public hearings after striking from the record economic evidence prepared by a Kinder Morgan consultant who was to begin working for the regulator.

 

Jan. 27, 2016: The federal Liberal government says assessments of pipeline projects such as the Trans Mountain expansion will now take into account the greenhouse gas emissions produced in the extraction and processing of the oil they carry. Proponents will also be required to improve consultations with First Nations.

 

May 17, 2016: Ottawa appoints a three-member panel to conduct an environmental review of the Trans Mountain expansion project.

 

May 29, 2016: The NEB recommends approval of the pipeline, subject to 157 conditions, concluding that it is in the public interest.

 

Nov. 29, 2016: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau approves the Trans Mountain expansion, part of a sweeping announcement that also saw approval of Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline replacement, but the end of its Northern Gateway project.

 

Jan. 11, 2017: B.C. Premier Christy Clark announces her support for the project, saying Kinder Morgan has met five government conditions including a revenue-sharing agreement worth up to $1 billion.

 

May 25, 2017: Kinder Morgan makes its final investment decision to proceed with the development, now estimated to cost $7.4 billion, subject to the successful public offering of Kinder Morgan Canada.

 

May 29, 2017: The B.C. NDP and Greens agree to form a coalition to topple the Liberal party, which could only manage a minority in the previous month’s provincial election. The parties agree to “immediately employ every tool available” to stop the project. The coalition defeats the B.C. Liberals in a confidence motion a month later, paving the way for John Horgan to become premier.

 

Aug. 10, 2017: The B.C. NDP government hires former judge Thomas Berger to provide legal advice as it seeks intervener status in the legal challenges against the project filed by municipalities and First Nations.

 

Dec. 7, 2017: NEB allows Kinder Morgan Canada to bypass Burnaby bylaws.

 

Jan. 17, 2018: Kinder Morgan Canada warns the Trans Mountain expansion project could be a year behind schedule.

 

Jan. 30, 2018: B.C. government moves to restrict any increase in diluted bitumen shipments until it conducts more spill response studies, a move that increases the uncertainty for Trans Mountain.

 

March 23, 2018: Green party Leader Elizabeth May and NDP MP Kennedy Stewart are arrested at a protest against the pipeline expansion; Federal Court of Appeal dismisses a B.C. government bid challenging a NEB ruling that allows Kinder Morgan Canada to bypass local bylaws.

 

April 8, 2018: Kinder Morgan Canada suspends non-essential spending on the Trans Mountain expansion project and sets a May 31 deadline to reach agreements with stakeholders.

 

May 29, 2018: Federal government announces deal to buy the pipeline and expansion project from Kinder Morgan Canada for $4.5 billion.

 

Aug. 30, 2018: The Federal Court of Appeal overturns the Trudeau government’s approval of the pipeline expansion. In a unanimous decision by a panel of three judges, the court says the NEB’s review of the project was so flawed that the federal government could not rely on it as a basis for its decision to approve the expansion.

 

Sept. 15, 2018: Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi orders the NEB to undertake a new environmental assessment of the impact additional oil tankers off the coast of British Columbia will have, with a specific focus on the risks to southern resident killer whales. The NEB has until late February to report back.

 

Sept. 26, 2018: The NEB assigns a new panel to run the hearings and sets deadlines for comments.

 

Oct. 3, 2018: Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi hires former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Frank Iacobucci to oversee a new round of Indigenous consultations. No deadline is set for the completion of the process.

Feb. 22, 2019: The NEB recommends to cabinet that it approve the project again, subject to 16 new conditions, and says although an oil spill could be significant, the project provides considerable benefits and there are measures that can be taken to minimize the effects. The federal cabinet has 90 days, until May 22, to respond with a decision.

Apr. 18, 2019: Sohi announces cabinet has decided to push the pipeline decision back until June 18 citing a need to take more time to complete Indigenous consultations.

June 18, 2019: Federal Liberal government approves the expansion a second time, requiring that all federal revenue it generates be reinvested in clean energy and green technology, including an estimated $500 million a year in new annual corporate tax revenues and the proceeds from the sale of the entire expanded pipeline back to the private sector.

 

 

 

 

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