Kinder Morgan says investment in oil pipeline expansion may be untenable

Replacement pipe is stored near crude oil storage tanks at Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline terminal in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada, November 15, 2016. REUTERS/File Photo

(Reuters) – Kinder Morgan Inc (KMI.N) said on Wednesday that recent events confirm an investment in the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion may be “untenable” and said Ottawa’s pledge of financial support does not resolve political risk related to British Columbia’s opposition.

The comments come as the British Columbia (B.C.) government pledged to file a legal challenge by month-end to determine whether it has the jurisdiction to stop the C$7.4 billion ($5.9 billion) project, which was approved by the federal government in 2016 and would nearly triple capacity on the pipeline from Alberta to a Vancouver-area port.

Kinder Morgan Canada (KML.TO), a unit of Kinder Morgan, halted most spending on the expansion earlier this month and set a May 31 deadline to decide if it would scrap the project entirely, citing legal and jurisdictional issues.

“As we said then, it’s become clear this particular investment may be untenable for a private party to undertake. The events of the last 10 days have confirmed those views,” Chief Executive Steven Kean said on a conference call.

While Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said Canada is prepared to offer financial aid to ensure the project goes ahead, Kean dodged a question about whether that support would ensure construction.

“They’re really two separate things,” he said. “Most of the investment is in British Columbia, where the government is in opposition to the project … That is an issue that, in our view, needs to be resolved.”

The Trans Mountain expansion is considered crucial for Alberta’s oil industry which has been beset by transportation bottlenecks. It is fiercely opposed by some B.C. cities, some aboriginal groups, and environmentalists concerned about possible oil spills.

M&A ON THE TABLE

The company said while it is not in a position to move on takeovers until the uncertainty around Trans Mountain is resolved, it sees good opportunities in the western Canadian midstream space.

“There are some very capable players with good midstream assets,” Kean said, adding: “Intent is, and was, that KML would be the vehicle to invest in those opportunities.”

The company has a strong balance sheet and is well positioned for takeovers, especially if cash earmarked for capital projects is freed up, said M. Paul Bloom, investment manager with Bloom Investment Counsel.

“I think you can expect if the Trans Mountain pipeline does not go ahead (Kinder Morgan) will be bidders for various assets here in Canada, and probably fairly quickly as well,” he said.

Kinder Morgan Canada, which was spun off from parent Kinder Morgan in May last year, reported a net income of C$44.4 million ($35.17 million) for the first quarter ended March 31, down from C$46.8 million for the same period last year.

Texas-based Kinder Morgan separately reported net income available to common stockholders of $485 million, or 22 cents per share, in the quarter to the end of March, compared with $401 million, or 18 cents per share, a year earlier.

[SOURCE]

 

Advertisements

‘We want to be owners’: Fort McMurray First Nations and Métis unite on pipelines

The Fort McMurray regions’s 10 First Nations and Métis community say they want to be pipeline owners. (Terray Sylvester/Reuters)

‘Let’s move on and let’s start building a pipeline and start moving the oil’

First Nations and Métis communities in the Fort McMurray region are expressing interest in becoming business partners in the pipeline industry.

The indigenous communities want to either buy a stake in the Trans Mountain pipeline or partner and build another future line.

“We want to be owners of a pipeline,” Allan Adam, chief of Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, said in an interview. “We think that a pipeline is a critical component to the oil and gas sector, especially in this region.”

“If Fort McMurray and Alberta are going to survive, the Athabasca Tribal Council has to be alongside.”

Adam, a board member with the Athabasca Tribal Council, an umbrella organization that represents the regions’s five First Nations, admitted, the details still need to be worked out.

Ron Quintal, president of the Athabasca River Métis, the organization that represents five Métis communities in the region, confirms it too is on board with the proposal.

But, Quintal said, he expects they would need backers to help guarantee loans to help fund the multi-billion dollar project.

Tired of fighting oil companies

The announcement happened on the heels of the groups’s meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the basement of a Fort McMurray hotel on Friday.

Participants say it was the first time region’s Cree, Dene and Métis communities met together with the head of the federal government. Typically such high level meetings don’t take place together.

Allan Adam, chief of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, says the Fort McMurray region’s First Nation and Métis communities back pipelines and they want to own one. (The Canadian Press)

Also in the background is the uncertainty over the fate of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion which would ship bitumen from Alberta to the B.C. coast.

On Sunday, Kinder Morgan announced it will halt “non-essential activities” and related spending on the project and set a May 31 deadline to decide whether the project will proceed. The company declined to comment for this story.

Premier Rachel Notley said the May deadline is a serious concern and suggested Alberta may become a co-owner in the pipeline’s construction.

The announcement from Adam is a change in position for the chief who is no stranger to pipeline opposition. The chief has posed with celebrities and activists critical of the oilsands’ environmental legacy.

Most recently, Adam was pictured with Hollywood actress Jane Fonda who described the oilsands on a 2016 trip to Fort McMurray as if “someone took my skin and peeled it off my body over a very large surface.”

Adam denied he was ever anti-pipeline or against the oilsands, rather the chief said he is critical of the feverish pace the oilsands developed without environmental considerations.

But, Adam also admitted fighting oil companies and industry has been tough and it’s time for a change.

“The fact is I am tired. I am tired of fighting. We have accomplished what we have accomplished,” Adam said. “Now let’s move on and let’s start building a pipeline and start moving the oil that’s here already.”

Archie Waquan, chief of the Mikisew Cree First Nation, also supports a pipeline partnership.

“No disrespect to the other First Nations that are against the pipeline in B.C.,” Waquan said.

“From our end — from this northern territory where the oilsands comes from — we would like to see more things happen and hopefully this will go ahead.”

Ultimately we are the keepers of the land

The region’s Métis communities say their Indigenous pipeline ownership would help alleviate the roadblocks the oil and gas infrastructure have been facing lately.

Elaborating, Quintal said, First Nations and Métis would provide ease of access for the pipeline route on their traditional territory.

Also, he said, Indigenous owners would take the upmost care to ensure the pipeline route would avoid sacred or sensitive areas and the infrastructure is maintained to the highest standards to prevent spills.

Chiefs and heads of the Athabasca Tribal Council and the Athabasca River Métis Council pose after a meeting Tuesday at Fort McMurray’s Raddison Hotel where they announced they are willing invest in pipelines. (David Thurton/CBC)

“From our perspective, the Métis have always for the most part been pro-pipeline,” Quintal said. But, “I am not saying that it’s an open book or a blank cheque for the industry to develop pipelines.”

“Ultimately we are the keepers of the land and it is of the upmost importance that lands are protected as much as possible.”

Quintal also said, Indigenous owners behind a pipeline, might also lend credibility that could quell some of the opposition.

This article was originally published by David Thurton  · CBC News · Posted: Apr 15, 2018

RELATED:

[SOURCE]

Justin Trudeau to Pressure British Columbia to Accept Trans Mountain Pipeline

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau | Reuters

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau | Reuters

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to pile pressure on British Columbia’s provincial government to drop its resistance to a pipeline project, but will try to avoid tougher measures that might alienate voters who helped his Liberals win power, a source close to the matter said on Wednesday.

Trudeau is racing against time. Kinder Morgan Canada said it would scrap the C$7.4 billion ($5.9 billion) Trans Mountain pipeline expansion from Alberta to the west coast unless all legal and jurisdictional challenges facing the project are resolved by May 31.

The pipeline, which Canada’s oil industry considers crucial, is opposed by British Columbia’s left-leaning New Democratic provincial government. Environmentalists and aboriginal activists are mounting frequent protests and British Columbia police have arrested about 200 people around Trans Mountain facilities since mid-March.

Trudeau’s Liberals picked up seats in the province in the last election, but the federal NDP – which opposes the pipeline – remains a force there.

This could make Trudeau’s federal government cautious as it is locked in a rare standoff with a provincial counterpart. British Columbia opposes the expansion, citing fears that the risk of a spill in the Pacific province is too great.

Ottawa insists it has jurisdiction over the project and Trudeau is under huge pressure to crack down. For now, he will press the provincial government, pointing to polls showing most Canadians want the expansion to go ahead.

“We need to take actions that are focused on the government of British Columbia,” said the source, who requested anonymity given the sensitivity of the situation. Trudeau will hold more talks with the province as well as Kinder Morgan Canada, the source added.

Trudeau must be careful because British Columbia voters and environmentalists gave him strong support that helped bring him to power in 2015. A crackdown could cost him support in both camps ahead of a federal election set for October 2019.

Although Ottawa says it is exploring all regulatory, legal and financial alternatives, the source conceded “there aren’t an awful lot of options for the prime minister.”

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau discussed the matter with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley in Toronto on Wednesday and told reporters that Ottawa had yet to make a final decision.

“We are working, using all the tools at our disposal, to make sure we move forward in short order to absolutely ensure this project goes forward,” he said, without giving details. “We have to ensure the rule of law in this country works.”

Some pipeline supporters have urged Trudeau to declare a national emergency to push through the pipeline, but the source said that idea is “preposterous.”

Also off the table for now are calls from opposition members to reduce the payments Ottawa sends to British Columbia to help fund social programs.

“Are they actually suggesting we cut … health and social transfers to hard-working British Columbians?” said the source.

Ottawa and Alberta have talked about investing in the project, though it was unclear how that would lessen British Columbia’s opposition.

Some commentators suggest provincial and federal governments underwrite the project by providing insurance, essentially leaving them on the hook if the company decides to walk away.

If pipeline supporters view Trudeau as too soft, they could accuse him of not doing enough to prevent a constitutional crisis and of abandoning the energy industry in Alberta, where the Liberals also picked up extra seats in 2015.

“I don’t think it’s a win for him in British Columbia or Alberta under any circumstances,” said pollster Nik Nanos of Nanos Research. “The problem is that is this open warfare on principle.”

By David Ljunggren and Julie Gordon (Reuters)

[SOURCE]

Kinder Morgan suspends work on Trans Mountain pipeline amid B.C. opposition

A man holds a sign while listening as other protesters opposed to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline extension defy a court order and block an entrance to the company’s property, in Burnaby, B.C., on Saturday April 7, 2018. CP/Darryl Dyck

Kinder Morgan says it is suspending all non-essential activities and related spending on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

The company says its decision is based on the British Columbia government’s opposition to the project, which has been the focus of sustained protests at its marine terminal in Burnaby, B.C.

Kinder Morgan says it will consult with “various stakeholders” to try and reach an agreement by May 31 that might allow the project to proceed.

The company’s decision will be seen as a blow Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has insisted that the pipeline would be built, despite the angry protests and the B.C. government’s continued battle against the project in the courts.

The expansion, which would triple the amount of oil flowing from Alberta to Burnaby, was approved by the federal government in 2016.

Kinder Morgan says it will make a decision about the project’s future based on whether it can get “clarity” on its ability to do construction in B.C. and protect its shareholders.

“As KML has repeatedly stated, we will be judicious in our use of shareholder funds. In keeping with that commitment, we have determined that in the current environment, we will not put KML shareholders at risk on the remaining project spend,” Steve Kean, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

“A company cannot resolve differences between governments. While we have succeeded in all legal challenges to date, a company cannot litigate its way to an in-service pipeline amidst jurisdictional differences between governments.”

Kean said the uncertainty around the company’s ability to finish the project “leads us to the conclusion that we should protect the value that KML has, rather than risking billions of dollars on an outcome that is outside of our control.”

About 200 people have been arrested near Kinder Morgan’s marine terminal in Burnaby, B.C., during recent protests.

By: The Canadian Press

[SOURCE]

Burnaby, B.C. says proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion routes through conservation area

A protester who goes by the name Uni stands on top of a trailer outside the main gates of Kinder Morgan in Burnaby, B.C., on Jan. 10, 2018.

The City of Burnaby is sparring with Kinder Morgan over whether it knowingly planned its proposed route for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion through a sensitive conservation area, an allegation that dominated the first of three days of National Energy Board hearings involving the Vancouver suburb.

In the Tuesday morning session in Burnaby, the city’s legal counsel, Gregory McDade, accused Trans Mountain of purposely routing the pipeline through the Brunette River Area – a site long designated for conservation by the city.

In documents filed with the energy board, Burnaby has said the proposed route passes through conservation areas and parks that provide critical green space and extensive trail systems to the public. Significant amounts of trees and vegetation would be removed and sensitive creek and river ecosystems would be affected, the city says.

However, Trans Mountain’s Michael Davies defended the company on Tuesday by saying that it looked at mapping by the City of Burnaby and the route was crafted to minimize the environmental harm of the expansion.

“Burnaby’s intent to include that land in a conservation area was not clear to us in the routing process,” Mr. Davies said.

The energy board is holding hearings this week on the route that would run through Burnaby, Coquitlam and north Surrey. Burnaby is a major opponent of the project and has publicly battled Kinder Morgan Canada, with Mayor Derek Corrigan saying he is willing to be arrested for civil disobedience to stop the project.

Mr. Davies and Mr. McDade brought up different maps showing the Brunette River. Mr. Davies referred to a map showing that the area’s pipeline does not disrupt any conservation areas.

Mr. McDade referred to a different map, indicating that the proposed pipeline is routed through the conservation area. The two maps showed the same pipeline route, but different footprints for the conservation area. Mr. McDade then referred to the area’s Official Community Plan adopted in 1988, which highlighted the city’s intention to conserve the Brunette River area and designate it a conservation area.

“Surely, before building a pipeline though the city, you looked at the community plan,” Mr. McDade said.

Mr. Davies acknowledged that the city’s map as well as the community plan were also factored into determining the company’s new route, but said it was the most practical route.

“The conservation area today does not reflect what is shown in the map,” Mr. Davies said. “The area the pipeline runs through now is not part of the conservation area.”

Mr. Davies maintained in his opening statement that the proposed 1,147-kilometre pipeline is the most practical and least harmful route, saying that it is the least disruptive to local communities and the routing is close to existing infrastructure and utilities, including the existing Kinder Morgan facility. Mr. Davies referred to a set of principles listed in Kinder Morgan’s routing criteria, which guided the proposed route.

In response to Mr. McDade’s claim that the city was not adequately consulted on the proposed route, Mr. Davies mentioned that there were a number of opportunities for the City of Burnaby to take part in consultations.

People who anticipated their lands may be adversely affected by the route were able to file statements of opposition.

The Globe and Mail

[SOURCE]

 

‘Eco-Colonialism’: Rift Grows Between Indigenous Leaders and Green Activists

Martin Louie, the hereditary chief of the Nadleh Whut’en First Nation.

Indigenous communities say they’ve had enough of activists invading their lands, misleading them about their agendas and using hard-line tactics against those who don’t agree

With flowing long hair, stoic expression and tribal garb, Martin Louie, the hereditary chief of the Nadleh Whut’en First Nation in north-central British Columbia, more than looked and acted the part of an aggrieved leader in the epic fight against the Northern Gateway oilsands pipeline.

He was quoted in the campaign’s news releases, filed complaints to the United Nations and spoke defiantly to investors. Environmental group Stand.earth even described him as the “poster boy” for Indigenous opposition to Enbridge Inc.’s pipeline.

The $7-billion pipeline was eventually cancelled last year, but Louie didn’t actually want to sink the project. Lost in the heat of the public battle was that he really just wanted to win more money for his impoverished community than the “ridiculous” $70,000 a year being offered by the company.

Louie’s experience is indicative of a widening rift between Indigenous communities and activists over natural resources, particularly in British Columbia, the focal point of major green campaigns generously funded by U.S. interests to thwart oil and gas exports.

The campaigns consistently portray a united Indigenous anti-development front and allies of the green movement, but some Indigenous leaders are becoming alarmed that they could be permanently frozen out of the mainstream economy if resource projects don’t go ahead.

They said in interviews they’ve had enough of activists invading their lands, misleading them about their agendas, recruiting token members to front their causes, sowing mistrust and conflict, and using hard-line tactics against those who don’t agree.

“The best way to describe it is eco-colonialism,” said Ken Brown, a former chief of the Klahoose First Nation in southwestern B.C. “You are seeing a very pervasive awakening among these First Nations leaders about what is going on in the environmental community.”

For instance, Louie is now one of the leaders of the proposed $17-billion Eagle Spirit pipeline, a Northern Gateway alternative championed by First Nations.

“When I went after Enbridge we were trying to gain more benefits for major projects going through our country,” he said.

Word soon got out about his differences with Enbridge and he was approached by a handful of lawyers representing green organizations who promised him assistance and funding, Louie recalled.

Their partnership ended bitterly because the two sides had conflicting objectives. He wanted better benefits; the activists wanted the project to fail.

The eventual failure of Northern Gateway was just one of a series of tipping points in recent months that worry some Indigenous leaders.

There was also the demise of Pacific NorthWest LNG and Aurora LNG, as well as the continuing challenges faced by the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and other proposed LNG projects. These cancellations and obstacles are celebrated by activists, but also wiped out jobs and revenue for First Nations.

Calvin Helin is chairman and president of the proposed Eagle Spirit pipeline, conceived and backed by First Nations groups and individuals.

Eagle Spirit also faces difficulties. Led by Indigenous lawyer Calvin Helin and supported by First Nations along the proposed route through northern B.C., the project will collapse if the federal government goes ahead with a tanker ban that is making its way through Parliament.

The ban is related to the Great Bear Rainforest, which was created by the B.C. government last year to conserve a big part of the province’s northern and central coast.

Both initiatives are seen by greens as big achievements, but are disputed by First Nations such as the Lax Kw’alaams, who said they were advanced without proper consultation and prevent their members from making a living.

Brown’s experience with environmental activism started about a decade ago, when he was chief of his tribe and supported two run-of-river hydro projects.

The projects were attacked by groups such as Save Our Rivers and Western Canada Wilderness Committee for being harmful to fish habitat, and Brown’s band was criticized for being “sellouts and socially irresponsible people looking for the quick buck,” he said.

“What an onslaught it was. There was a high level of participation from people who had never been to the region … and they were all conveying the same narrative: ‘The sky is falling, keep your blood money, corporations are evil.’”

Brown, who now runs a consulting company, said similar tactics are used against other projects, too.

“If First Nations communities are willing to conform to the prescribed eco-narratives, they are going to get all kinds of accolades and praise, but if they don’t conform, it’s vitriolic hit pieces on these people,” he said.

Louie is still shaken by the backlash he experienced. After complaining to activists they were only using him to advance their cause, he said he was blackballed.

“Workers were spreading the word that I am not a good man, that I am there to ruin the environment, that I am making money on my own,” he said. “They were making me sound like I am taking millions from a lot of people. If I was in that position, I wouldn’t be struggling to pay for my car payments.”

Louie said he joined the Eagle Spirit project to achieve what he couldn’t with Northern Gateway: help his tribe become economically self-reliant.

Martin Louie in 2012 leading a protest against Enbridge Inc’s Northern Gateway pipeline.

They were making me sound like I am taking millions from a lot of people. If I was in that position, I would not be struggling to pay for my car payments – Martin Louie

Environmental organizations and Indigenous communities in recent years have found common cause in opposing some projects and in fighting the impacts of capitalism on the environment, said Dwight Newman, Canada research chair in Indigenous rights at the University of Saskatchewan.

A big reason is that Indigenous people have unique legal rights and by working with them, green groups are better able to block developments than if they relied on environmental grounds alone, he said.

Section 35 of Canada’s constitution states the Crown has a duty to consult with First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities and, where it anticipates adverse impacts, to accommodate to the extent reasonably possible.

So far, the law has been used against development, but one of the unknowns is whether Indigenous communities will use it to pursue economic development and override the environmental laws that block projects such as Eagle Spirit, Newman said.

“At some point, these arguments will end up in the courts, either directly as rights claims or as claims that there ought to have been consultation on potential effects on such rights,” Newman said in an article for the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, where he is a senior fellow.

“And the very presence of these arguments will overturn the expectations of many who think they have liberal views, but actually have ongoing paternalistic views that assume First Nations always need protection from development.”

And the very presence of these arguments will overturn the expectations of many who think they have liberal views, but actually have ongoing paternalistic views that assume First Nations always need protection from developmentDwight Newman

Many conservation campaigns rely on U.S. funds because there is more money available there due to tax laws and an abundance of wealthy philanthropists.

Vancouver-based researcher and blogger Vivian Krause has tallied the large sums poured by U.S. groups to fight pipelines and gas projects in Canada by analyzing tax filings.

The biggest funder has been the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, which has granted more than $190 million to First Nations, environmental and other organizations working in B.C., Krause said.

The top recipient of funds from the Moore Foundation is Tides Canada, which received at least $70 million, she said. Tides Canada spends that money internally and re-grants it to other groups, particularly First Nations organizations.

Other big U.S.-based funders are the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Pew Charitable Trusts.

“These American interests are trying to stop these projects any way they can, and one of the best ways is by leveraging the constitutional rights of First Nations in the courts,” Krause said.

The former United Nations worker said she pursued the research because of pleas for help from Indigenous leaders “who want jobs and social and economic prosperity (and) are sick and tired of what they call the paid protesters.”

One of those leaders is Gary Alexcee, a hereditary chief of the Nisga’a Nation near Alaska, and a member of Eagle Spirit’s Chiefs Council. He’s disappointed the federal government is giving more weight to environmentalists than to the needs of Indigenous communities.

“We were totally taken aback and surprised by the announcement of this tanker ban because of the government’s statement that they were going to include First Nations,” he said. “No one got consulted.”

Eagle Spirit would create jobs and opportunities “that people never had” in a region where other industries such as fishing, forestry and eco-tourism are doing badly, he said.

Gary Alexcee, a hereditary chief of the Nisga’a Nation near Alaska.

Alexcee, 70, said many in his community don’t support green campaigns. He said activists have come to the region in big numbers and picked “token” members to advance their causes.

Relations between activists and Indigenous people got really ugly in nearby Prince Rupert, in the territory of the Lax Kw’alaams.

The community was initially opposed to a liquefied natural gas project proposed by a consortium led by Malaysia’s Petronas because of its location on Lelu Island, which they believed would threaten juvenile salmon.

They became supporters after negotiating bigger benefits and getting the project to re-locate.

But a small group of opponents continued to protest. Their frontman was Donnie Wesley, who claimed to be a hereditary chief and led an occupation of the site. That opened the door for activists to come in and offer band members funds and assistance to defeat a high-profile target, said Mayor John Helin.

Dozens of “professional protesters” travelled to the area from as far away as California with funding from groups such as SkeenaWild Conservation Trust, which, in turn, was getting money from Tides and the Moore Foundation.

“More or less, they called me a traitor,” Helin said.

Everybody said they hated me for working for Enbridge, you are the enemy, you are a traitor – Ray Jones

Petronas pulled the plug on the $36-billion venture this summer, which meant $2 billion in benefits over 40 years for the band were lost.

The Lax Kw’alaams chided Wesley for misrepresenting himself as a hereditary leader. The dispute over who represented the community ended up in court. Wesley lost and is appealing.

Greg Knox, executive director of Terrace, B.C.-based SkeenaWild, said there is a wide range of perspectives in Indigenous communities and while some may feel they lost opportunity when Petronas cancelled its LNG project, others were relieved because salmon were no longer threatened.

“This project was proposed for a terrible location,” Knox said. Many other LNG projects were also proposed, but “this was the only one that people were concerned about and there was big opposition to.”

His group also campaigned against Northern Gateway and supports the tanker ban, he said, but doesn’t have a position on Eagle Spirit yet because it doesn’t have enough information.

Stand.earth brags on its website that it has delayed or stopped 21 “dirty oil pipelines and train projects.” But it relied on Will George, a member of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation, to confront Kinder Morgan Canada chief executive Ian Anderson at a recent Vancouver Board of Trade event promoting the $7.4-billion expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

“I do not welcome you onto my territory. You are not welcome on my lands, and you certainly cannot be doing business here without Tsleil-Waututh consent,” George said, according to a statement distributed by the group.

“It’s really Indigenous nations protecting their land that allows us to win these fights,” said Stand.earth campaigner Hailey Zacks, noting 150 First Nations in Canada and the U.S. are opposed to the project.

For its part, Kinder Morgan said 42 directly impacted Indigenous communities are supportive of the pipeline expansion and have signed benefits agreements.

What I do know is that the communities that I work with are willing to do whatever it takes to stop it – Hailey Zacks, Stand.earth campaigner

Zacks couldn’t speak to that, but said, “What I do know is that the communities that I work with are willing to do whatever it takes to stop it.”

Haida Gwaii is one community known as a hostile place for development of all kinds — and for those who dare to promote it.

Hereditary chief Ray Jones, 66, was harshly castigated for doing consulting work for Northern Gateway, which would have included tankers sailing to and from Asia, potentially impacting the island.

A former captain in the fishing industry with intimate knowledge of the coast, the 66-year-old said he supported the shipment of oil and gas and any other work that promised desperately needed employment.

His contract job with Enbridge involved building communications between the island community and the company, he said.

But Jones was up against powerful forces. Haida Gwaii’s leadership worked closely with activists, he said, “a whole pile of them,” particularly from the David Suzuki Foundation, visited the area regularly and influenced the local population.

The foundation did not respond to an interview request.

The community was so close-minded about getting an alternative point of view, few even asked him what his job with Enbridge involved, Jones said.

“Everybody said they hated me for working for Enbridge, you are the enemy, you are a traitor,” he said. “I have two sisters who don’t talk to me. I have had people call me the village clown, a lot of derogatory things. I’ve had my tires slashed, I’ve had somebody key my car. It’s ugly.”

The same attitude has killed other jobs, pushing young people away and leaving the rest with nothing to improve their lot, he said.

“I always tell my grand children, get a damn good education because I don’t know what you kids are in for in your life,” Jones said. “We lived in a good time.”

By: Claudia Cattaneo – Jan 4, 2018.

[SOURCE]

Reader Submission 

CP Train Derails near Hells Gate, B.C., Spills Fuel into Fraser River

A photograph distributed by an agency of the B.C. government shows a train derailment that occurred on November 23, 2017.

A Canadian Pacific Rail train has derailed near Hells Gate, B.C. in the Fraser Canyon and leaked some fuel.

The train derailed due to a rock slide on Thursday.

The B.C. Environmental Emergency Program posted an update Friday morning.

They will be working with Canadian Pacific Railway to monitor the spill response activities and assess environmental impacts.

“Fuel was leaking out of the vent line hole, over the steep bank and into the Fraser River at a fairly steady flow,” the update said.

The hole has been temporarily patched.

Affected First Nations have been updated on the situation and will continue to be notified of ongoing response actions.

There’s not yet information available on how much fuel leaked.

GOOGLE MAPS

Story will be updated..

Nebraska Commission Approves TransCanada’s Keystone XL Pipeline

Nebraska approves alternative route for Keystone XL 

TransCanada Corp. now has the approvals it needs to build its Keystone XL pipeline.

Nebraska’s Public Service Commission has approved the passage of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline through the state in a 3 to 2 vote.

TransCanada won approval Monday, marking the last major hurdle for one of the most controversial pipelines projects of all time.

But the five-member commission rejected TransCanada’s preferred route and voted to approve an alternative route that would move the pipeline further east.

Source: Nebraska Public Service Commission

In a statement, TransCanada said it would take time to study the decision’s impact on costs and timing of the project.

Nebraska was the last state to formally approve the pipeline, which also has federal clearance after U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order approving it earlier this year.

It is unclear whether the federal approval for the KXL project covers the route approved by the state commission.

The approval comes just days after a massive 210,000-gallon oil spill by the Keystone pipeline in South Dakota.

RELATED:

The commission’s decision focused narrowly on whether the Keystone XL pipeline is in the public interest, not environmental issues, which it is not allowed to consider.

The commission’s approval of the Keystone XL is likely to be challenged in court by opponents who say the project is an environmental risk.

Opposition to the line in Nebraska has been driven mainly by a group of around 90 landowners whose farms lie along the proposed route. They have said they are worried spills could pollute water critical for grazing cattle, and that tax revenue will be short-lived and jobs will be temporary.

Environmentalists opposed to Keystone XL vowed “the fight’s not over yet” for the project and indicated their willingness to pressure banks to withhold funding for the project.

TransCanada Sends More Crews to Keystone Pipeline Leak in South Dakota

An aerial view shows the darkened ground of the oil spill that shut down the Keystone pipeline near Amherst, South Dakota. (Courtesy DroneBase/Handout via Reuters)

TransCanada, the operator of Keystone pipeline says the company has sent additional crews and equipment to the site of a 210,000-gallon oil spill in South Dakota.

Crews shut down the Keystone Thursday after discovering a leak.

RELATED:

TransCanada said Saturday it is making progress in its investigation into the cause of the spill on farmland near Amherst in Marshall County.

But the company did not elaborate on the cause. The company says additional equipment and workers continue to be dispatched to the site.

TransCanada says the leak is under control and there is no significant environmental impact or threat to the public.

The spill happened just days before Nebraska regulators were to announce their decision on whether they approve an expansion of the Keystone system. The commission is set to announce their decision Monday.

Nebraska officials said Friday that the oil spill won’t affect their decision to approve or deny a route for the related Keystone XL project.

A spokeswoman for the Nebraska Public Service Commission said that commissioners will base their decision solely on evidence presented during public hearings and from official public comments.

The Keystone pipeline delivers oil from Canada to refineries in Illinois and Oklahoma.

Keystone Pipeline Shut Down after Leak Spills 210K Gallons of Oil In South Dakota

FILE: TransCanada workers excavating a section of the Keystone oil pipeline near Freeman after oil was discovered above ground. Apr, 2016.

Keystone pipeline shut down after oil spill in Marshall County

TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone pipeline has leaked an estimated 210,000 gallons of oil in northeastern South Dakota, the company and state regulators reported Thursday.

TransCanada said in a statement crews shut down the Keystone pipeline at approximately 6 a.m. Thursday and activated emergency response procedures after a drop in pressure was detected resulting from a leak south of the Ludden pump station in Marshall County.

According to TransCanada, the spill was completely isolated within 15 minutes. The cause is being investigated.

Brian Walsh with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said he anticipates the clean up will take some time.

Walsh said the leak happened in a rural area about three miles from the town of Amherst.

This is the largest Keystone oil spill to date in South Dakota.

Back in April 2016, crews responded to a 16,800 gallons spill from the Keystone pipeline in Freeman, South Dakota.

David Flute, chairman of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate tribe, told BuzzFeed News Thursday’s leak was on a section of pipeline adjacent to his reservation. He said the area has “the cleanest lakes in South Dakota,” as well as a large subterranean aquifer, and that he was “concerned” about the possibility of contamination.

“I’m thinking there is going to be an impact, some type of environmental impact,” Flute said. “As the oil seeps, if they can’t contain the spill, which I’m hoping they do, if they’re unable to contain it from seeping into the water systems, it can be hurtful and harmful to everybody.”

In response to the spill, Sierra Club Beyond Dirty Fuels campaign director Kelly Martin released the following statement:

“We’ve always said it’s not a question of whether a pipeline will spill, but when, and today TransCanada is making our case for us. This is not the first time TransCanada’s pipeline has spilled toxic tar sands, and it won’t be the last. The PSC must take note: there is no such thing as a safe tar sands pipeline, and the only way to protect Nebraska communities from more tar sands spills is to say no to Keystone XL.”

There have been no reports of the oil entering any waterways or water systems at this time.