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British Columbians demand same climate review for Kinder Morgan pipeline as promised for Energy East

Friday, October 6, 2017

Unceded Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver BC - British Columbians deserve the same federal climate review for the Kinder Morgan pipeline project as was promised for Energy East, says a diverse group of BC First Nations, local groups and citizens.

“It’s unfair to British Columbians that the NEB only considers the climate impacts from some tar sands pipelines and not all,” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs. “The people of British Columbia got a rushed, fundamentally flawed, drive-by federal review of Kinder Morgan and zero consideration was given to its climate impacts.”

The Kinder Morgan project would unlock the climate warming impacts equivalent to 34 million new cars on Canada’s roads every year.

“Until the NEB is reformed to include both climate emissions at the source and at the destination where it is burned, there can be no meaningful assessment of projects like Kinder Morgan,” says Sven Biggs, Energy Campaigner for Stand.Earth.  “To regain any credibility, the NEB would need to start Kinder Morgan’s proposal from the start and include the climate tests that Energy East would have had to participate in. Anything else is picking winners in pipeline construction -- and Canadians lose.”

It was the combined efforts of First Nations, cities, conservationists and ordinary citizens that led to the NEB’s new climate test for pipeline proposals. On the campaign trail in 2015, Justin Trudeau committed publicly to  overhauling the National Energy Board and reviewing the process of major pipeline proposals - explicitly including Kinder Morgan.

“TransCanada's abandonment of Energy East is an admission of what we've been saying for years,” said Mike Hudema, Climate Campaigner with Greenpeace Canada. "Better policies and regulations that hold companies accountable to the urgent need for climate action means that today's business conditions make pipelines a losing bet. Energy East would have blown Canada’s carbon budget and, if built, Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain will do the same. British Columbians and Indigenous Peoples deserve the same stronger climate test that was applied to Energy East."

The Federal Court of Appeals is hearing applications right now from 6 First Nations, 2 environmental groups on behalf of wild salmon and BC’s orcas, and the cities of Burnaby and Vancouver to overturn the approval of Kinder Morgan. They are contesting the government’s position that enough consultation and evaluation was done - the travesty of First Nations consultation, the lack of considering impacts on BC coastal marine life and the refusal to consider risks from supertankers in the Salish Sea.

“Energy East never had the consent of the First Nations or communities along the proposed pipeline route,” says Eugene Kung, Staff Counsel for West Coast Environmental Law. “A national alliance of opposed Nations, working with conservationists, delivered this victory for the people of Canada. When faced with a climate test, Transcanada withdrew their application rather than fail the new evaluations.”

“The court challenges currently underway at the Federal Court of Appeal shine a light on the egregious double standard applied to Kinder Morgan.

A total lack of meaningful consultation with First Nations, plus minimized climate change and spill risks to the Salish Sea, the salmon, and the orcas are all part of the case to overturn Kinder Morgan's approvals.” said Kung.

“When pipeline reviews have to account for climate change it stops these projects dead in their tracks,” said Wilderness Committee Climate Campaigner Peter McCartney. “It's an absolute travesty that this standard was never applied to Kinder Morgan's pipeline and Line 3. Now the government is paying the price.”

Union of BC Indian Chiefs | West Coast Environmental Law | Stand.Earth | Wilderness Committee | Greenpeace |Coast Protectors | PIPE UP | 350.org | Burnaby Residents Against Kinder Morgan Expansion (BROKE)

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For more information, please contact:

Eugene Kung | Staff Counsel, West Coast Environmental Law, Vancouver
604-601-2514, ekung@wcel.org

Mike Hudema | Climate & Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace Canada, Edmonton, Alberta
780-504-5601, mhudema@greenpeace.org

Sven Biggs | Energy Campaigner, Stand.Earth, Vancouver
778-882-8354, sven@stand.earth

Peter McCartney |  Wilderness Committee, Vancouver
778-239-1935, peter@wildernesscommittee.org

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip | President, Union of BC Indian Chiefs, Vancouver
(604) 684-0231