The Trans Mountain Expansion Project is the most thoroughly reviewed project in Canadian regulatory history. It has undergone unprecedented scrutiny for the last six years and set a new standard for review of energy projects in our country. We’ve met every standard, followed every process and exceeded the requirements.
In January 2017, the Province of BC granted our Project an environmental certificate and confirmed that it had met the Province’s “Requirements for BC to Consider Support for Heavy Oil Pipelines”, this following a five-year National Energy Board (NEB) regulatory review, and a hearing process that lasted 29 months. The federal government approved the expansion and they have been actively balancing the interests of the economy and the environment, while working to address Indigenous reconciliation. Their Oceans Protection Plan will invest $1.5 billion to improve marine safety, shipping and the marine environment.
Trans Mountain has respected and continues to follow applicable regulatory requirements for the Project. However, the BC Government’s January 30, 2018 announcement about diluted bitumen raises questions of both fairness and intent.
Our Project was deemed to be in the National interest. It’s in everyone’s best interest to ensure that Canada and BC is seen as a fair and attractive place to do business. Excessive delays and politically-motivated red-tape not only affect Trans Mountain, they impact the future of our energy industry and all other major infrastructure projects trying to get built in Canada.
Workers, communities, Indigenous groups and local businesses are excited to get to work and are waiting for Project construction to begin. There are some 3,500 individuals and 3,400 businesses who have signed up to let us know they want to be a part of the Expansion. Each one of these businesses will create family-supporting jobs and contribute to the economic success of their community and the country.
We have contractors ready to get shovels in the ground. We have Canadian steelworkers in Saskatchewan ready to manufacture pipe. We have Indigenous groups waiting to share in the success of the Project, including new jobs and training opportunities. But, until we’re allowed to move forward, these workers are waiting on the sidelines.
In response to the Government of BC’s announcement, and on the topic of diluted bitumen, it’s important to point out that we’ve been shipping diluted bitumen for 30 years. There is an extensive body of work already completed on the subject, and a thorough examination of the pipeline and products being shipped was part of the reviews already completed. In fact, there are conditions on the Project from both the NEB and the BC Environmental Assessment Office related to diluted bitumen. In its report on the Project, the NEB devoted a chapter to the behavior of oil, including diluted bitumen, and a thorough review of the extensive scientific studies, modelling and research on the subject.
Trans Mountain knows protecting the environment is paramount, and we are committed to doing so. We understand the concerns raised about pipeline safety, tanker traffic, spill prevention and emergency response, and that’s why we’ve carefully developed measures to protect communities and our ecosystems. During our 65 years of operating in BC and Alberta, we’ve worked with governments at all levels to ensure the legislation, regulation and policy overseeing the shipment of oil and oil products are world-class.
Like any industry or business it’s vital for Trans Mountain to know there’s a predictable, reasonable and timely process to allow approved projects like ours to proceed for the benefit of all Canadians.
President of Kinder Morgan Canada