NEB review of Trans Mountain dangerously flawed

With friends like the National Energy Board, does Kinder Morgan really need enemies?

Sierra Club BC has released a report entitled Credibility Crisis that documents a litany of flaws in the NEB’s review of Kinder Morgan’s proposed pipeline and tanker project.

Sierra Club BC are calling for B.C. to withdraw from the federal review of the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline and initiate a B.C. environmental assessment. Sign the petition today.

These flaws are so extensive and serious that a massive legal cloud already hangs over Kinder Morgan’s proposal.  The NEB’s approval will be vulnerable to legal challenge on any number of fronts, all because the federal government has turned environmental reviews into elaborate and expensive exercises in rubber-stamping favoured projects. NEB hearings are intended to determine whether or not a given project is necessary and in the public interest.  For over 40 years in Canada, we have made such determinations in public, with public participation, in order to build social license for projects. An open hearing helps the public understand the trade-offs being made among the various economic, environmental, social and cultural values that may be impacted by a project.

Yet the Kinder Morgan hearings are being conducted in the opposite spirit.

Here are some of the flaws the report identifies:

  1. Public participation severely curtailed.
  2. Participants denied adequate and timely funding.
  3. Upstream and downstream impacts, such as climate change, not considered.
  4. Kinder Morgan  allowed to submit incomplete information.
  5. The only evidence subject to cross-examination is First Nations oral evidence.
  6. No cross examination of Kinder Morgan permitted.
  7. Kinder Morgan is allowed to ignore or provide incomplete responses to written Information Requests.
  8. Panel has accepted 80 per cent of the Kinder Morgan’s motions, but only 11 per cent of intervenor motions.
  9. Panel failed to ensure Kinder Morgan’s environmental and risk assessment conformed to accepted best practices.

In short, the federal government has completely stacked the deck in Kinder Morgan’s favour and blocked the public from meaningful participation in the process. Sign the petition calling for B.C. to withdraw from the federal NEB process and conduct an independent environmental assessment that considers climate impacts and gives all British Columbians a voice.

Read the full report.