British Columbia Says Kinder Hasn't Met Pipeline Conditions

  • Company seeks to almost triple Trans Mountain capacity
  • Kinder Morgan says it's confident it will satisfy province

British Columbia’s Environment Minister Mary Polak said Kinder Morgan Inc. hasn’t met the conditions the Canadian province established for a oil pipeline expansion to go ahead.

“We have not seen evidence that the five conditions have been met,” Polak said in a conference call with journalists Monday. Kinder Morgan especially has more work to do to establishing a marine- and land-based oil-spill response, she said.

Kinder Morgan plans to almost triple the Trans Mountain line’s capacity to 890,000 barrels a day. The system, in operation since 1953, is the only pipeline from Alberta to the Pacific Coast and unique in connecting Canada’s oil sands directly to an ocean to reach markets outside North America. Requests by producers to ship on the line regularly exceed its capacity.

British Columbia in 2012 set out the conditions, including sharing of benefits and environmental protection, for companies proposing oil pipelines across the province. The minister’s comments came as the province submitted its findings to the National Energy Board, the federal agency that oversees the application process for such projects.

Company Confident

“Trans Mountain is confident that through continued discussions with the province, along with the final steps of the NEB process that already include 150 draft conditions that the company must meet, it will be able to satisfy B.C.’s five conditions by the time the regulatory process is complete,” Kinder Morgan said in an e-mail.

Both Kinder Morgan and Enbridge Inc. have struggled against stiff opposition to crude pipeline development in Canada’s westernmost province.

“Unless a company is able to meet these five conditions, British Columbia cannot support their pipeline,” Polak said. “For companies around the world, they’ve known for a long time that British Columbia has strong environmental protection. We don’t have to trade jobs for the environment.”

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