Pages tagged "Pipe Up Network"

Trans Mountain will raise pump prices 15 cents a litre, according to Kinder Morgan president

Robyn Allan - Posted: Feb 1st, 2014 - Vancouver Observer

Image from Bigstock ( 

Kinder Morgan Canada President Ian Anderson told analysts in Houston, Texas last week that the Canadian economy is losing big because of limited access to markets—a problem he says his $5.4 billion Trans Mountain expansion will help solve once the project receives regulatory endorsement and Harper Cabinet approval. He expects that could be as early as mid-2015 with a late 2017 in service date for the new pipeline.

Explaining the drive behind oil producer demand for BC west coast access, Mr. Anderson told his audience “tight capacity’s going to be out of the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin for some time…and as a result of limited access to global markets we continue to see discounts between Brent, WTI and Canadian Mixed Sweet blends… the differentials Canadian producers see adds up to about $50 million a day in lost revenues and profits to the Canadian economy.”

What Mr. Anderson didn’t do is connect the dots. If he’s right, and new, heavy oil pipelines like Trans Mountain raise oil prices and remove the discount, there will be a huge wake-up call for consumers at the pumps. We all know that when crude oil prices are higher at the refinery gate—which is exactly what would have to take place if Canadian producers are paid more for their oil—Canadian refiners faced with these higher costs pass them onto consumers, otherwise their profits fall.

Fifty million a day in “lost” producer revenues translates to an average of $25 per barrel.  If crude prices rise by that amount, when refineries pass it on it would mean roughly 15 cents a litre at the gas station.

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First Nations Gain Powerful New Allies in Fight Against Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline and Tankers


We were honoured to be a part of this historic document with our member Susan Davidson signing on behalf of The PIPE UP Network!



The Yinka Dene Alliance (YDA) has welcomed a new signatory to the Save the Fraser Declaration and has also launched a new Solidarity Accord, backed by some of Canada and BC's most powerful unions, as well as a host of local leaders from tourism businesses, municipal government, health and conservation organizations.

The Save the Fraser Declaration is an indigenous law banning tar sands pipelines and tankers from crossing BC, signed by representatives of over 130 First Nations.

Chief Archie Patrick of the Stellat'en First Nation signed the declaration, just moments before the launch of the new Solidarity Accord by Unifor, the BC Teachers' Federation, the BC Wilderness Tourism Association, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment and the David Suzuki Foundation among others.

The Stellat'en First Nation is one of many First Nations along the proposed pipeline route that Enbridge has been trying to woo for years.

"First Nations opposition to Enbridge's project just keeps growing," said Chief Martin Louie of the Nadleh Whut'en First Nation. "Never before have we been joined by such a vast range of supporters from across Canadian society. This gives the alliance greater strength for the fight ahead and shows the magnitude and power of public opposition to this pipeline that is proposed to cross over our territories."

Through the Solidarity Accord, non-First Nations organizations and individuals pledge to stand with First Nations in upholding the Save the Fraser Declaration and stopping the Enbridge project, with a new website launching at

"The Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project is simply too risky a proposal for our industry to support," said Jim DeHart, President of the BC Wilderness Tourism Association. "An oil spill would affect the major rivers or coastline of BC and threaten the entire provincial tourism industry. That's why we're signing this accord today."

"Unifor is proud to stand in solidarity with First Nations as they resist the Enbridge Northern Gateway project," said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Area Director for BC. "It's time for a new vision for Canada's energy industry - one that addresses the reality of aboriginal title and rights, respects our social and environmental commitments, and generates lasting wealth for all who live here."

The Save the Fraser Solidarity Accord may be found online at:


Nadleh Whut'en First Nation
Chief Martin Louie

Yinka Dene Alliance
Geraldine Thomas Flurer





FVRD will fight pipeline under our 'Stanley Park'


The FVRD has a number of questions about Kinder Morgan’s proposed oil pipeline twinning project, including what the company will do to minimize disruption to agriculture.   Photograph by: TIMES - file

The Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) has a long list of tough questions for Kinder Morgan regarding the company's $5.4-billion oil pipeline expansion project through local communities. Near the top of the list of FVRD concerns is whether Kinder Morgan plans on running its new pipeline right under what a senior staffer calls the Stanley Park of the community-Cheam Lake Wetlands Regional Park.

"I sure hope not," FVRD chief administrative officer Paul Gipps told the Times Tuesday. "I think the residents look at that as our Stanley Park and a no-go zone.. . I think if they tried to it would be a fairly good dog fight."

The existing 60-year-old Trans Mountain pipeline runs 1,150 kilometres from Edmonton through two electoral areas and three municipalities in the FVRD en route to Burnaby.

Kinder Morgan's proposal is to triple the capacity of the pipeline and, for the most part, run the second pipe in the existing right-of-way. There are some locations, however, where residential development has grown up around the rightof-way since the pipeline was built in 1953. Through electoral Area D the pipeline runs south of Highway 1 through Bridal Falls and Popkum, then crosses the highway and runs under Minter Gardens and on into Chilliwack.

During consultation in Hope in June, the company posted two options for the route running on the north side of the highway through the heart of Area D. "It could impact a number of private properties and also our regional park property," Area D director Bill Dickey said at the time. "We prefer they stay in the existing right-of-way."

In the spring, Kinder Morgan requested to survey the Cheam Lake Wetlands, a 107-hectare regional park just east of Chilliwack. FVRD staff and directors were briefed about the Trans Mountain project during a workshop in Surrey in March, but the board still has dozens of questions about impacts: socioeconomic, agricultural, environmental and recreational.

At Tuesday's meeting, FVRD board of directors were presented with a staff report outlining questions to be sent to Kinder Morgan to be answered in a timely manner.

Any response from the company will be little more than a courtesy as the FVRD is well aware it has no regulatory authority over pipelines. Kinder Morgan does have an obligation to consult local governments, something the company has been engaging in for months.

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Activist pulls back curtain to show Kinder Morgan pipeline flaws and Kinder Morgan questions his credentials

Close up photo of Trans Mountain pipeline by David Ellis
Kinder Morgan has quietly been removing some 5005 cubic metres of oil-contaminated soil from its Trans Mountain pipeline near Coquihalla Canyon, near Hope since June 28, according to the National Energy Board (NEB). "I think there's been more oil spilled than they're saying," Vancouver-based pipeline critic David Ellis said, about the reported 25-barrel figure. And while a Kinder Morgan representative told the Vancouver Observer there were "no Kinder Morgan-branded trucks" moving any contaminated soil, NEB spokesperson Rebecca Taylor confirmed that soil was indeed being removed, a good part of it "definitely directly contaminated". Oil-soaked soil biodegrades over time, but can harm vegetation at its roots and can be toxic to animals if ingested.

Ellis has photographed places where the pipeline was exposed and corroded and signs indicating where pipeline anomalies may be. A bookseller specializing in Western First Nations literature and a former fisheries planner, Ellis raised an alarm when he saw trucks moving soil to Tervita Corporation in Richmond, which specializes in disposal of industrial waste.

Questioning credentials and demanding answers

Ellis treks out on weekends to pipeline excavation sites (where security has received orders not to let him pass) and frequently sends the NEB inquiries accompanied by photos about the pipeline's condition. By his estimation, there are 35 recent urgent repair sites along the pipeline where the company performed hydrostatic testing in October. The Texas-based company's plans to twin the aging pipeline and expand capacity from 300,000 to 890,000 barrels of oil per day, in his view, could place British Columbians at risk for a big spill, Ellis told the Vancouver Observer. 
Given that Coquihalla Canyon is a provincial park area teeming with wildlife (and only 40 kilometres from Hope), people should be relieved that Kinder Morgan has been removing the soil and replacing it. 
Except that four months and 600 truckloads later, the company is still taking out soil, and that leads him to believe something isn't right. Kinder Morgan spokesperson Andy Galarnyk insisted that "the large volume of soil removed (from Coquihalla Canyon) was not considered hazardous waste, but was removed to meet strict clean up criteria because of its location within a provincial park." The NEB agreed that its cleanup standards mean removal of soil until it is tested to be completely safe. Galarnyk added that Ellis "does does not have any experience or qualifications to comment on pipeline operations".

But the bookseller, who has a Masters in Science from UBC and extensively documents the pipeline around the Coquihalla and Kamloops, has raised questions that are getting harder to dismiss. 

Oil-soaked soil 'under-reported' - Trans Mountain - Coquihalla Canyon

November 1, 2013 - Kamloops - The Daily News

Oil-soaked soil 'under-reported'

By Mike Youds Daily News Staff Reporter

National Energy Board says 5,000 cubic metres of earth removed from site of July spill


The National Energy Board says that more than 5,000 cubic metres of contaminated soil have been trucked out of the Coquihalla Canyon since a pipeline spill last summer, leading a critic to believe the spill was much larger than reported. 
The volume reported by the NEB would represent removal of almost 600 truckloads of contaminated material from the site. 
Patrick Smyth, business unit leader with the NEB in Calgary, cited the figure in an email to pipeline critic David Ellis. Ellis questioned the delay in releasing the figure. 

"The volume says the spill was greater and it's been under-reported," Ellis said. "There needs to be a full investigation of this and the NEB should make it public. What went on down there? A pinhole leak or a break?" 

Kinder Morgan Canada shut down Trans Mountain pipeline last summer due to two spills that were described as minor at the time. In June, a spill occurred near Kingsvale, south of Merritt, followed by a second in the canyon two weeks later. 
As a result, Kinder Morgan set about repairing the leaks and remediating the sites. All of the contaminated soil was trucked to the Tervita Corporation in Richmond. 

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Residents unsettled by constant excavation around Kinder Morgan pipeline

Excavation around pipelines. 24 hour security. Trucks with "contaminated soil" written on the side. Residents of Abbotsford and Chilliwack are wondering what it all means. 

Photo of dug-up pipeline by Ian Stephen

Photo by Ian Stephen


Chilliwack resident Ian Stephen was alarmed to hear that there was excavation going on around the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline, around five kilometres east of Bridal Veil Falls. It was a late afternoon on Friday, October 11, right before Thanksgiving weekend, but he drove down near the falls to see what was happening. 

"This excavation was close to home, so I was curious," he said. "This pipeline goes right over our aquifer."

He walked around, camera in hand, until he came across part of the pipeline that was dug up and covered up by a white tarp.

"The excavation was quite large -- probably about sixty feet long. And it looked like some new surface had been applied along that length," he said. He saw thin wooden stakes planted in the ground where more excavation was planned. Finally, what caught his eye was a large pile of soil from the excavation covered with black plastic. 

"I didn't get a chance to look under the black plastic to see if the earth there was contaminated (by oil) or not," he said. 

Stephen, along with Michael Hale from Pipe Up Network, a local group of residents, worry that the excavations are taking place due to small leaks coming from holes in the pipeline, causing soil in surrounding areas to be contaminated.

"They may be small leaks: if it were a spill, the NEB would have to report it, but pipeline companies are allowed to leak up to three percent of what they're carrying per year," said Hale. But he worried about the soil in the area because of stories of trucks filled with "contaminated soil" moving out of pipeline areas in Abbotsford. 

Barbara Gard, an Abbotsford landowner lives near Sumas Mountain Road and Ward Road. Kinder Morgan has right-of-way on her property. There has been a lot of digging along the pipeline for nearly a year now, she said, and she wonders why the work continues to this day. 

"There was a lot of work going on between those roads: there were between six and 10 vehicles, excavators, and trucks that said 'contaminated soil' written on the side," she said. "I don't know what's going on with the pipeline that is requiring so much work. They still have it open, and recently they've placed a 24-hour security guard there."

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Alarm bells ring with new report of B.C.'s oil-spill system

Michael Smyth: Alarm bells ring with new report of B.C.'s oil-spill system

Premier Christy Clark is concerned that B.C. is not prepared for a large coastal oil spill.

Photograph by: Jason Payne , PNG

British Columbia is not prepared for a large coastal oil spill and the spill-prevention-and response system needs a major upgrade, especially before any new oil pipelines are approved.

That will be the bottom line in a new report on the province's oil-spill system to be released this week by the Christy Clark government.

As B.C. debates two major oil-pipeline projects — Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline and Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline — the government hired Alaska-based Nuka Research to investigate our coastal-spill system.

The company's report has been received by the government, I'm told, and Clark hinted at its contents in comments last week.

"We are woefully under resourced," Clark said, adding the spill-response system must be improved, especially "before any more heavy oil comes off the coast."

British Columbia already has hundreds of oil tankers passing through coastal waters and this week's report will question whether the spill-response system is adequate even for existing tanker traffic, I'm told.

The report will echo earlier concerns raised about B.C.'s inadequate preparation for a major coastal oil spill.

"Even a moderately sized spill would overwhelm the province's ability to respond and could result in a significant liability for government," said briefing notes prepared in June for B.C. Environment Minister Mary Polak and obtained by The Canadian Press.

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First Nation owned solar farm built northeast of Toronto

By  - Reporter

More and more businesses are flocking to First Nation communities to work with them on various business ventures. TD Economics recently looked at the purchasing power out of First Nation communities. and found growth among Aboriginal based businesses.

“The business activity that’s happening with communities [and it] is sustainable as opposed to just getting government funding,” Clint Davis, Vice President of Aboriginal Banking with TD Bank said. “So that report proved without a doubt that aboriginal people are not a drain on the Canadian taxpayer but are net contributors to Canada’s economy right now.”

Alderville First Nation is an example of one of those ventures. It is constructing a five megawatt solar farm over 50 acres.

It is the first 100 per cent First Nation owned solar farm in Ontario. James Marsden, who has been Chief of the community for 10 years says it was a golden opportunity for them.

Over the length of the contract, Marsden said, the community could make upwards of $59 million.

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Even moderate oil spill would 'overwhelm' B.C. resources, say officials

Documents reveal Coast Guard lack needed 'environmental expertise'

Even moderate oil spill would 'overwhelm' B.C. resources, say officials

A worker uses a small boat to move logs on the Douglas Channel at dusk in Kitimat, B.C., in this Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012 photo. Officials in British Columbia privately warned the province lacks the ability to manage oil spills from existing and future oil traffic, and even a moderate spill would overwhelm their ability to respond, documents show.

Photograph by: Canadian Press , The Canadian Press, Vancouver Sun

Officials in British Columbia have privately warned the province lacks the ability to manage oil spills from existing and expanded oil traffic, and even a moderate spill would overwhelm their ability to respond, documents show.

Ottawa's decision to deal with coastal oil spills from a base in Quebec would make it much harder to contain spills here, and Transport Canada and the Coast Guard lack the needed "environmental expertise" to manage them, officials said in the documents obtained by The Canadian Press under freedom of information laws.

The notes were written by B.C. Environment Ministry officials for the incoming minister's briefing book in June, and other concerns were detailed by emergency response officials in memos from last year.

Environment Ministry bureaucrats voiced a range of misgivings for minister Mary Polak. "The Ministry of Environment, as the ministry responsible for preparedness, prevention, response and recovery for spills, is not adequately staffed and resourced to meet the existing and emerging expectations to address spills," they wrote in the briefing book.

"Even a moderately-sized spill would overwhelm the province's ability to respond and could result in a significant liability for government. ... The industry requirements, established by Transport Canada, are perceived as being insufficient in both scope and scale. For example, in both Washington state and Alaska industry requirements are far in excess of what is required in B.C."

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Pipeline activists tour spill site

PIPE-UP says steep slopes increase risks; Kinder Morgan says safety is paramount


PIPE-UP tour

PIPE-UP members (left to right) Ian Stephen, Suzanne Hale, Michael Hale, Wendy Major and Paul Aquino hiked to the site of a June oil spill near the Coquihalla Summit.  Photograph by: PIPE UP Network

Five members of a Chilliwack- based environmental group recently hiked to the site of a June oil spill on Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline near the Coquihalla Summit and they didn’t like what they found.

“I wasn’t prepared for what I saw,” said PIPE-UP spokesperson Michael Hale. “The top of the Coquihalla Sum- mit is the highest point of any pipeline in Canada. From the that point near the summit, the pipeline descends over 300 metres vertically in a very short distance. The age of the pipe and the steepness of the descent would surely increase the likelihood of a major spill.”

Hale and four other members of PIPE-UP gathered on Aug. 24 on the Trans Canada Trail just below the trail. They then hiked seven kilometres to the spill site.

“Judging by the amount of work Kinder Morgan is doing in the area, they are obviously worried about leaks,” Chilliwack resident Ian Stephen said in a PIPE-UP press release. “In addition to the two reported spill sites, we saw a half dozen other repairs.”

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