No gas pipeline conversion to oil, B.C. vows

Energy East proposal to switch pipelines has NDP worried about an "end run" for an oil project such as Enbridge Northern Gateway

Doug Donaldson

The B.C. government has adopted a regulation to prevent natural gas pipelines from being converted to carry oil to the North Coast.

Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman announced the regulation Tuesday, covering six pipelines proposed to link to liquefied natural gas export facilities in the Prince Rupert, Kitimat and Squamish areas. He said other pipelines could be added if necessary.

The move comes after the Energy East proposal to switch a gas pipeline to carry oil from Alberta to refineries in Quebec and New Brunswick.

Chief Barry Nikal of the Moricetown Indian Band endorsed the new regulation, but other aboriginal leaders and the NDP aren’t satisfied with a cabinet order that could be quickly changed.

Stikine MLA Doug Donaldson says Coleman first promised legislation to prevent oil sands crude from being carried in pipelines built for gas at a public meeting in Moricetown in April 2014. In November, Donaldson presented his own private member’s bill to have the legislature endorse the move, after Coleman said he would use regulation instead.

“We do not want to see this used as an end run by Enbridge Northern Gateway to be using any proposed natural gas pipelines to transmit diluted bitumen from the Alberta tar sands to the North Coast,” Donaldson said.

He was supported by Wet’suwet’en hereditary chief John Ridsdale, who visited the B.C. legislature before joining anti-oil pipeline protesters on Burnaby Mountain.

“The proposed routes are actually all in our major spawning beds,” Ridsdale said. “And you’ve got to realize that the water that comes from Wet’suwet’en territory also goes to the Fraser River and to the Skeena River. So what we’re doing is protecting everything on behalf of British Columbians.”

Ridsdale is the highest ranking member of the Tsayu Clan, one of five clans and 38 house territories of the Wet’suwet’en. The Tsayu have rejected both oil and gas pipelines crossing their territory, and another house, the Unist’ot’en, has built a settlement with the help of outside environmentalists in an effort to block any pipeline development.

The regulation prevents the “automatic conversion” of pipelines, Aboriginal Relations Minister John Rustad said in a statement. It covers the following proposed projects:

• Coastal GasLink, to supply the Shell-led LNG Canada project at Bish Cove near Kitimat

• Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Project, to supply PETRONAS-led Pacific Northwest LNG at Lelu Island

• Pacific Trail Pipelines Project, to supply Chevron-led Kitimat LNG

• Pacific Northern Gas Looping Project, to supply Douglas Channel LNG, a Texas private proposal for Kitimat

• Eagle Mountain Woodfibre Gas Project, an expansion of an existing gas line to a former pulp mill site near Squamish

• West Coast Connector, to supply Prince Rupert LNG, led by BG Group, which has delayed its decision to proceed

 

Just Posted

Airbnb hosts earning millions in the Okanagan

The Okanagan was among the list of three Canadian wine markets.

UPDATE: One dead, two in hospital after Highway 1 crash near Bridal Falls

Closure expected to last hours, while drivers are told to take detours

Pawnshops support curbing crime with digital database

At least two pawnshops in Penticton are in support of upgrading to a digital list of items purchased

B.C.’s devastating 2017 wildfire season revisited in new book

British Columbia Burning written by CBC journalist Bethany Lindsay

Walk to end abuse for those who can’t

SOWINS’s Debbie Scarborough points to the lethal potential in intimate partner abuse

Buy a lotto ticket and be a hero to B.C. burn victims

The Hometown Heroes Lottery is offering up seven grand prizes including a home in Lake Country

WestJet pilot strike averted as parties agree to mediation

Pilots had warned they could go on strike starting May 19

Out of control wildfire prompts restriction around Allie Lake

One of the first large wildfires of the 2018 season is blazing out of control

UPDATE: Grass fire burns near Mission Hill winery

Smoke can be seen around West Kelowna as a fire gets underway near Mission Hill

Vernon SAR manager wins national volunteer award

A Vernon Search and Rescue manager was one of those honoured for her dedication and innovation.

Giant beer tanks arrive in new B.C. home city

Molson Coors tanks finish river journey and move to overland trip in Chilliwack

VIDEO: Pipeline supporters rally across B.C.

Langley event one of five held in B.C.

VIDEO: B.C. woman praises burn fund after boat explosion in 1978

White Rock woman was 16 years old when she was left with second- and third-degree burns

Most Read