BC Government “Cannot Support” Current North Gateway Pipeline Proposal

The British Columbia government has just made its final written submission to the Northern Gateway Pipeline Joint Review Panel, and it is asking for more information and assurances before it can support the project. The main concern cited by the BC government in its rejection of the proposal is lack of detail around marine and land oil spill response. "Northern Gateway has said that they would provide effective spill response in all cases. However, they have presented little evidence as to how they will respond," said Environment Minister Terry Lake in a news release. The project was reviewed against five criteria also including receipt of a fair share of oil revenue for BC. The Enbridge (TSX: ENB) project would move petroleum westward from close to Edmonton to an ocean-side terminal at Kitimat, BC, where oil would be transported by ship to Asian markets. An east-flowing pipeline would bring condensate back to Alberta where it would be used to thin the oil being transported to the coast. BC’s response is one input to the federal Joint Review Panel that will ultimately decide the fate of the project. Enbridge responded in a measured statement, with the president of Northern Gateway Pipelines, John Carruthers, quoted by CBC as saying the development is “part of the process”. The outcome on Northern Gateway will not significantly affect Enbridge’s strong financial results, as the project is on the books as an “unsecured” project and not in the secured project pipeline, according to The Globe and Mail. The decision of the recently re-elected Liberal Premier Christy Clark reflects opposition to the pipeline from many quarters in BC. The proposal has sparked a great deal of protest from First Nations and environmental activists. Polling has also indicated high levels of opposition among the general public. Environmental groups and First Nations praised the government’s decision. “Days like this give meaning to 50 years of environmental activism,” said John Bennett, Executive Director of Sierra Club Canada. Pembina Institute called the approach “cautious” and “measured”. Chief Maureen Thomas of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, located in the North Vancouver area, said, "We are now looking to Stephen Harper and the Federal Government to see how they will respond. It is now overwhelmingly clear that the vast majority of British Columbians do not support these pipelines.” The deadline for the decision of the Joint Panel is year end. Sources http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2013/05/bc-makes-final-written-argument-to-northern-gateway-panel.html http://www.northerngateway.ca/project-details/project-at-a-glance/ http://www.theprovince.com/news/Environmentalists+cheer+government+rejects+Enbridge+Northern/8462955/story.html http://www.sierraclub.ca/en/noKXL http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/47051/opposition-to-northern-gateway-remains-high-in-british-columbia/ http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1175991/tsleil-waututh-nation-commends-government-of-bc-for-rejecting-northern-gateway-proposal http://gatewaypanel.review-examen.gc.ca/clf-nsi/hm-eng.html http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2013/05/31/bc-northern-gateway-rejected.html http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-commentary/rob-insight/for-enbridge-investors-northern-gateway-fuss-just-a-sideshow/article12296864/#dashboard/follows/