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B.C. Businesses, First Nations Side With Alberta On Trans Mountain

A delegation including almost a hundred businesses from British Columbia as well as labor union and Aboriginal community leaders are visiting Edmonton to demonstrate their support for the expansion of the Trans Mountain crude oil pipeline, which the British Columbia government is fiercely opposing.

The B.C. delegates are worried that after last month Kinder Morgan suspended all non-essential work on the pipeline, it may never restart it, which will deprive the businesses and communities of benefits they have been eagerly awaiting.

“We need (the pipeline), because we don’t have a lot of other economic opportunities,” a member of the delegation—a former First Nation chief—said. “If this doesn’t go through, it’s going to have a really negative impact on us and on the things that we do. We just want to work.”

The delegations is in Edmonton just a day after the Alberta government announced legislation that will allow it to suspend all crude oil flows to British Columbia in retaliation to the B.C. government’s opposition to Trans Mountain, which sparked an open conflict between the two neighbors.

B.C. fired the first shot with a proposal for a review of environmental assessment regulations and possible amendments to oil spill response procedures. The review would have delayed Trans Mountain—which had already received federal approval. Alberta shot back with a ban on some B.C. goods such as wine, and the review proposal was dropped. However, B.C. continued to look for ways to stall the project, approaching the court with a question about whether it could stop the pipeline on the grounds that it is a threat to its environment.

In response, Alberta drafted Bill 12, which B.C. has called unconstitutional as it clearly targeted B.C. and only B.C. because of the difference of opinions on Trans Mountain’s expansion.

Meanwhile, the May 31 deadline that Kinder Morgan gave Canada’s government to make sure the project can go ahead is drawing near, and producers in Alberta are desperate for transport capacity as they are forced to sell their crude at a deep discount to WTI because of pipeline and rail car shortages.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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  • Thiago A on May 21 2018 said:

    Unfortunately, almost all the first nations along the route where the pipeline runs support the project. The bands on the ocean, mainly don't support it because they will not see any of the positive effects from it's construction. That argument is flawed though because currently BC imports oil via tanker from Alaska, and YVR just built a huge terminal to import Panamax fuel tanks because of pipeline constraints.

    So is BC and it's first nations only ok with tanks that are importing oil to it's coast, but exports are not? Also BC operates one of the worlds largest coal export facilities, which in a spill case is not much better and kind of decimates the argument for the climate change side as well....
  • Dave Watson on May 20 2018 said:
    Not all first nations in BC support the project, and, unfortunately, the first nations that most vigorously oppose the project see themselves as having far more at stake than supporting first nations. Without exception none of first nations with territory on the tanker route support the project . Not saying I agree with them, just pointing out that its a complicated situation.
  • Mike Walsh on May 19 2018 said:
    Good article. BC are moronic PC thugs, the oil is getting drilled no matter what, the pipeline is the safest, and most environmentally friendly way to transport it.
  • anthony hartnell on May 19 2018 said:
    The tide is turning against the enviro wacos and the vast majority of Canadians understand and want this vital project......

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