The City of Vancouver has officially come out against Kinder Morgan’s proposed expansion of its Trans Mountain pipeline.
“The City of Vancouver has concluded that the proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion is not in the public interest because the adverse effects of the project would outweigh any possible benefits and the required environmental impact assessment is incomplete,” reads a January 12 media release.
The rejection comes in the form of the city’s final submission to the National Energy Board (NEB), a federal body tasked with reviewing the project.
Vancouver’s criticism of Kinder Morgan’s proposal comes the day after the Government of British Columbia announced it was similarly opposed to the pipeline’s expansion. The province however left room to change its mind, stating Kinder Morgan still has an opportunity to satisfy key conditions for B.C.’s approval.
The project is a twinning of a Kinder Morgan pipeline that runs from the Alberta oil sands to a port in Burnaby. Upon completion, it would triple the amount of diluted bitumen transported to the Lower Mainland, increasing the number of oil tankers moving through Burrard Inlet from some 60 ships per year to more than 400.
In its January 12 release, the city argued the risks associated with such an increase in tanker traffic “far outweigh” any benefits that might come with the project.
“Kinder Morgan's assessment has fundamental flaws that systematically underestimate the risks to Vancouver,” it reads.
“A major oil spill would be a disaster for Vancouver's environment, economy, health and reputation,” it continues.
Representatives for Vancouver are scheduled to travel to Calgary where they will present an oral summary of the city’s position on the Trans Mountain project on February 5. The City of Vancouver was the only organization from B.C. approved to appear before the NEB at that meeting.