Mark Collins – British Columbia/Alberta Hydrocarbon Heartbreak Update: Good News, Bad News

Further to these posts,

Shell, or, B.C. LNG Heartbreak, Cont’d–Plus Court “No” to Northern Gateway Oil

B.C. LNG Heartbreak Averted, for Now–Will Petronas et al. Go Ahead?

first the good news about a smallish project:

Woodfibre says it is going ahead with British Columbia’s first LNG project, creating hundreds of jobs

Woodfibre LNG [website here] says it is proceeding with its proposed liquefied natural gas development near Squamish, B.C., in what would be the province’s first LNG project.

Premier Christy Clark says the $1.6-billion development will create 650 jobs during construction and 100 operational jobs over its estimated lifespan of 25 years.

The project has cleared regulatory hurdles at the provincial and federal levels, including securing federal approval in March of this year.

Woodfibre LNG is licensed to export about 2.1 million tonnes of LNG annually.

There are approximately 20 LNG proposals in B.C. on the drawing board.

Pacific Northwest LNG [website here], which is much larger than the Woodfibre LNG project, recently secured federal sanctioning and is now being reviewed by Malaysia’s state-owned company Petronas for final approval.

Now the bad news for the moribund Northern Gateway bitumen oil pipeline, plus very mixed news for the southerly Kinder Morgan twinning bitumen pipeline (both from Alberta):

1) Moratorium on crude oil tanker traffic coming soon: GarneauFederal Liberal cabinet to render a decision on Kinder Morgan by Dec. 19.

Federal Transportation Minister Marc Garneau is promising a moratorium on crude oil tanker traffic off British Columbia’s North Coast by the end of this year, which would coincide with the government’s cabinet decision on the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

“That is a promise that we made. It’s a mandate item for me and we are going to be delivering on that,” Garneau [said to CBC]…

– Crude oil tanker ban for B.C.’s North Coast ordered by Trudeau…

Environmental groups have suggested a moratorium off B.C.’s North Coast would kill the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline [website here], which would carry bitumen from Alberta to Kitimat, B.C. The project is still recovering from a blow delivered by the Federal Court of Appeal, which overturned Enbridge’s approval because it found Ottawa failed to properly consult the First Nations affected by the pipeline.

Marine safety plan coming too

However, a moratorium could clear the path for the Kinder Morgan project [what, a transparent political quid pro quo? perish the thought], which could see the transmission of nearly 900,000 barrels a day of diluted oilsands bitumen to Vancouver’s harbour in the south.

Former Kitimat mayor Joanne Monaghan has questioned why a ban would only apply to the northern coast..

“Is there a difference between crude oil being spilled down south and crude oil being spilled in the north?” she told CBC.

Trudeau’s government needs to render a decision on Kinder Morgan by Dec. 19.

Garneau said he’ll also soon have an announcement on improving marine safety…

But see earlier:

No Tankers off Northern B.C.? Our New Government Provoking Fight With U.S.?

2) Kinder Morgan braces for Standing Rock-type protests: Energy company already talking to RCMP about security, months before next pipeline might be approved

A person only has to read a few of the stories about the Standing Rock protest or see some of the pictures and videos to get a sense of the hostile stalemate over the construction of the new Dakota Access pipeline [website here].

The protests in North Dakota began small and peaceful, but grew in support and captured the attention of the continent.

The tension continues to escalate as protestors chant, wave flags and set fires, while police have used rubber bullets, mace and Tasers.

The emotional conflict could move north across the border next year if Kinder Morgan receives provincial and federal approval to construct its Trans Mountain Expansion oil pipeline [website here] through parts of Alberta and British Columbia.

Even though the project may not go ahead, the Texas-based energy company is already bracing for the sizable security effort it may need. Installing nearly 1,000 kilometres of pipeline around mountains, rivers and other terrain is a challenge in itself, let alone co-ordinating contractors and hundreds of workers with protestors at the door step.

Pipeline companies review security after ‘reckless’ protest…

Pipeline activism is rising and Kinder Morgan knows it…

Meetings with RCMP

The preparations involve meeting with law enforcement.

“We’ve been in deep conversations with policing authorities, RCMP in the planning for our project — what can we anticipate and what their role needs to be,” said Anderson.

The RCMP, for its part, won’t provide any detail about those arrangements. Instead, it’s emphasizing its role as an impartial party…

Social license or social violence?

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds

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