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Kinder Morgan criticizes Trans Mountain interveners in NEB reply

Alleges BROKE group repeated evidence as argument, violating a procedural direction from the board.


VANCOUVER — Kinder Morgan, hoping to twin its pipeline between Alberta and BC, claims some interveners broke the National Energy Board’s rules when they presented oral arguments at recent hearings on the proposed expansion.

The company has filed its written reply argument, triggering the close of the record in the often-contentious energy board proceeding into the Trans Mountain project. The board is expected to deliver a recommendation to the federal government by May.

The argument is Trans Mountain’s response to written and oral arguments delivered by municipalities, environmental groups and First Nations at hearings in Calgary and Vancouver.

“Certain interveners repeated their evidence as argument, in some cases verbatim,” states the document filed with the board.

The company alleges a group called Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion, or BROKE, repeated evidence as argument, violating a procedural direction from the board.

The Burnaby residents’ group did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The group’s final argument urged the board to reject Trans Mountain for multiple reasons, including an “acute risk to public safety posed by the significant seismic hazard” in Metro Vancouver.

Trans Mountain also accuses some interveners of attempting to introduce new evidence during final arguments, which is also against the board’s rules.

“For example, in oral arguments the City of Vancouver quoted extensively from the NEB’s Canada’s Energy Future 2016 report, released in January 2016, well after evidentiary deadlines,” the argument says.

The report developed by the National Energy Board provided projections of Canadian energy supply and demand to the year 2040. It found that total end-use energy demand would increase by an average of 0.7% per year – half of the 1.3% annual increase between 1990 and 2013.

Trans Mountain has asked the board to disregard what it considers wrongfully-introduced new material while preparing its recommendation.

The City of Vancouver believes the section of the argument that Trans Mountain wants struck from the record is a statement from NEB chairman Peter Watson in his introduction to the annual energy report.

“To use ‘uncertain’ to characterize the past 18 months in Canadian energy would be an understatement,” Watson says in the statement.

“I doubt there is a single market observer who could have foreseen the dramatic fall in the global price of crude oil, one of Canada’s largest exports, from US$110 per barrel in mid-2014 to less than US$40 per barrel by end of December 2015 and then to less than US$30 per barrel in January 2016.”

City spokesman Tobin Postma says the statement – which goes on to note the historic climate agreement in Paris – provides a concise summary of world events about which there is no dispute and of which the board is entitled to take judicial notice.

“The statement also accurately reflects the extensive evidence that has been filed by the City of Vancouver and other interveners concerning the drop in oil prices over the last two years,” he says.

Kinder Morgan hopes to triple the capacity of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline to carry diluted bitumen from near Edmonton to Burnaby, BC. The project would increase the number of tankers in Burrard Inlet seven-fold.

Ottawa has announced a four-month extension to the time limit for its decision on the project, with an announcement expected in December.

Trans Mountain has said it has reviewed its project schedule and is now expecting the in-service date for the expanded pipeline to be December 2019.

© 2016 The Canadian Press

1 Comment » for Kinder Morgan criticizes Trans Mountain interveners in NEB reply
  1. Randy says:

    Not sure how intervener status can be given to environmental groups or first nations who have received millions in funds from foreign governments, OPEC, or Russia. How the City of Vancouver has status while it pumps billions of liters of sewage into the ocean has any moral standing at the NEB is mind boggling. While all these groups cry what could happen they are silent on the sewage dumping. This also brings to question their true motives. Is foreign money being given preferential treatment by these groups. They sure don’t represent the majority of Canadians. In fact they don’t represent the minority. The intervener status of these groups are not for Canadians but for big oil from the USA, Russia and OPEC all of whom should have zero standing in Canadian policy or environmental reviews. All of which have substandard oil practices and environmental practice. You take money from foreign oil interests/ governments etc, you should no longer have intervener status period. Worlds dirtiest oil comes from California and Venezuela and the worlds worst environmental stewards are from OPEC and Russia. None can come close to the world leading environmental stewards of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

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