‘We can work through’ pipeline objections

Trans Mountain pipeline will be twinned if National Energy Board approves plan.

Trans Mountain pipeline will be twinned if National Energy Board approves plan.

CLEARWATER — The B.C. government’s objections to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion can be overcome, a spokesman for Kinder Morgan told a group of community politicians today (Friday, Jan. 29, 2016).

In response to questions at a Community to Community meeting of municipal, Thompson Nicola Regional District and First Nations reps, Fowles said the company is convinced Premier Christy Clark’s declaration opposing the expansion won’t stop it from going ahead.

“”We’re very confident we can work through the concerns of the provincial government,” Fowles told about 30 representatives from Lower North Thompson area communities.

Clark announced three weeks ago B.C. can’t support the $5.4-$6.8 billion pipeline expansion because Kinder Morgan hasn’t satisfied some of B.C.’s five conditions, including a world-class spill prevention program.

Trans Mountain runs from Alberta down the North Thompson Valley through Whispering Pines and Black Pines in Electoral Area P, Westsyde and then on to Burnaby. The twinning project would triple the capacity of the pipeline to 890,000 barrels a day. The company says the new pipe would replace the equivalent of 441 rail cars or 1,500 truckloads of oil per day.

Fowles said Kinder Morgan has “a robust spill regime” and has the best spill record of any pipeline company. It has been talking to Clark’s office since she made the announcement.

The twinning project would have “absolute minimal impact where possible.”

He noted that pipelines are in federal, not provincial jurisdiction.

Changes in federal pipeline policy were announced Wednesday that include a requirement to look at greenhouse gas emissions and for more consultation with First Nations.

Construction had been scheduled for 2016-2019 and Fowles said Kinder Morgan still expects the project will come on line in 2019 even though the time for federal cabinet consideration has been extended four months.

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