B.C. Grand Chief urges action to ‘prevent catastrophic climate chaos’ as costs of Trans Mountain pipeline rise

Aug 13, 2018 by

 

VANCOUVER—The Union of BC Indian Chiefs says it’s “frustrated” and “outraged” that the estimated cost to build the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is going up while the effects of climate change are being witnessed around the world.

“The Arctic Circle is burning in Sweden, intense wildfires are ripping through California, heat waves are breaking records across the world, 400 fires are raging in British Columbia,” said UBCIC Grand Chief Stewart Phillip in a release Thursday morning, “and the Canadian government wants to buy an overpriced 60-year-old leaky pipeline and build another one that will guarantee an expansion of greenhouse-gas pollution produced by the tarsands at a time when we should be hitting the emergency shutdown button to prevent catastrophic climate chaos.”

An aerial view of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain marine terminal in Burnaby, B.C. The planned expansion would triple the flow of oil from Alberta to the terminal in Burnaby, B.C., and result in a sevenfold increase in tanker traffic.
An aerial view of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain marine terminal in Burnaby, B.C. The planned expansion would triple the flow of oil from Alberta to the terminal in Burnaby, B.C., and result in a sevenfold increase in tanker traffic.  (Jonathan Hayward / The Canadian Press File)

Documents filed with the United States Security and Exchange Commission this week show Kinder Morgan Canada estimates it will cost an additional $1.9 billion and take a year longer to build the new pipeline.

That would bring the price of the controversial construction project to $9.3 billion. The expansion would essentially twin the existing 1,100-km pipeline, triple the flow of oil from Alberta to the terminal in Burnaby, B.C., and result in a sevenfold increase in tanker traffic.

It’s fiercely opposed by environmental groups, some First Nations and the cities of Burnaby and Vancouver. But the federal government has gone so far as to promise to buy the pipeline to make sure it gets built, saying it’s in the national interest.

“It defies any form of rational responsible decision making that we as a country continue to embrace massive projects that will without question add to global warming,” said UBCIC Vice-President Bob Chamberlin in the release. 

“The ballooning cost underlines the irresponsible decision making that Canadian taxpayers will bear the burden for generations to come,” he said, adding that Canada needs a comprehensive renewable energy strategy.

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