Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Pipeline News

Benefits Grossly Overstated?

Kinder Morgan accused of fudging numbers

Michael Hale/File photo

 

inder Morgan has come out swinging against fellow intervenors in the National Energy Board’s review of the proposed Trans Mountain Expansion. When filing their evidence with the NEB on August 20, the Texas pipeline giant went on the attack against evidence submitted by Living Oceans and the PIPE UP Network.[1] Both organizations have disputed the company’s economic claims.

“PIPE UP has presented evidence that Kinder Morgan’s economic numbers are grossly inflated,” stated Lynn Perrin, who prepared PIPE UP’s submission. “We used the economic analysis prepared by the Goodwin Group and Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Public Policy Research. That study concluded that ‘the employment, property tax and fiscal benefits of TMX are very small in the context of the overall provincial economy and significantly overstated by KM/TMP (Kinder Morgan/Trans Mountain Pipeline)’[1] observed Perrin. 

“As to costs, the SFU study concluded that possible costs of a spill could be more than ten times higher than Kinder Morgan’s estimates. Our conclusion, based on credible local research is that Kinder Morgan has vastly overstated the benefits and underestimated the costs of this project,” Perrin asserted.

“We have also noted that Kinder Morgan has made no commitment to hire Canadian construction workers in its promise to employ ‘thousands of people’. There is great concern among the construction unions that the Harper government has made it very easy to hire temporary foreign workers while denying them Canadian citizenship and turning a blind eye to exploitation,” said Perrin.

“To put it plainly, we don’t buy Kinder Morgan’s economic claims” said Michael Hale a landowner from Chilliwack and member of PIPE UP. “Economic analyses by B.C. economist Robyn Allen and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives back up the SFU study. Both have concluded that there is “no net economic benefit for British Columbians.”

“It isn’t hard to understand the lack of economic benefits, when you realize that none of the bitumen is intended to meet local needs for oil. It’s all for export,” says Hale. “You have to look hard through Kinder Morgan’s evidence to find the number of permanent jobs that would result if this new bitumen export pipeline is built. However, the Trans Mountain website states that there will be “approximately 90 new operating positions” as a result of the project. How can they spin that into a major economic benefit?” asks Hale.

[1]SFU Public Policy / Goodman Group (November 10, 2014).“Economic Costs and Benefits of the Trans Mountain Expansion for BC and Metro Vancouver.” 

   

Background
The PIPE UP Network is made up of residents of southwestern BC who have come together because of our concerns about the safety, environmental, and financial implications, of shipping tar sands along Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline, which runs from Edmonton, AB to Vancouver, BC.


Members of the network are dedicated to educating themselves and their communities about the existing pipeline, plans for expansion, and alternatives to tar sands; showing that we have the power to make the needed changes.

 

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Friday, August 21, 2015

Pipeline News

NEB Stalls Hearings

Avoiding a conflict of interest

Sven Biggs, Forest Ethics Advocacy

his afternoon, the National Energy Board announced that it is postponing the Kinder Morgan hearing until further notice, stating their own concern over “public confidence in the impartiality of tribunal decision makers.”

This is in reference to Steven Kelly, the board’s most recent appointee, a consultant who worked for Kinder Morgan on the Trans Mountain pipeline file, and filed over 400 pages of evidence, which the board admits is in direct conflict with other evidence filed.

Steven Kelly was appointed to the National Energy Board by the Harper government on July 31, on the eve of calling the national election. The oral summary arguments, which were set for Aug. 24 in Calgary and Burnaby in September, are now postponed and Kelly’s evidence will be stricken from the hearing records.

In response Sven Biggs, Campaign Organizer for ForestEthics Advocacy said “The Harper government’s last minute attempt to stack the National Energy Board with energy industry cronies has backfired. Today the NEB did the right thing and acknowledged that this appointment may – in their own words - ‘raise questions about the integrity of this hearing process.’

“This is a scandal, like the senate scandal, that shows the Prime Minister’s office is manipulating independent government processes to forward their own political agenda. And just like the senate hearings, this process has now just blown up in their face, once again showing us that the Prime Minister puts his personal political interest ahead of the public interest” said Biggs.