It’s here! TC has filed consolidated Energy East application

The NEB posted this to Twitter this morning: It’s here! The consolidated Energy East application has arrived, all 38,885 pages of it”

The link in long-form to the regulatory filing inbox: https://docs.neb-one.gc.ca/ll-eng/llisapi.dll?func=ll&objId=2671689&objAction=browse&viewType=1

So it appears that the schedule for the NEB’s proposed timeline for Energy East will at least roughly follow that released by the NEB earlier this month.

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UN declaration will allow pipeline veto: N.B. Aboriginal leaders (May 2016)

UN Declaration for Indigenous Rights could be powerful tool to oppose Energy East, First Nations leaders say

Canada’s adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples will help First Nations fight against the Energy East pipeline, according to some New Brunswick Aboriginal leaders.

Ron Tremblay, Grand Chief of the Wolastoq Grand Council, is at the United Nations this week in New York. He believes the declaration will give Aboriginal communities veto power over contentious resource projects including the pipeline, which would transport crude oil from Alberta to New Brunswick.

“I’m very confident that by the Liberal federal government supporting the declaration … that we will have the opportunity to say no,” said Tremblay.

The Grand Council, which says the homeland of the Wolastoqewiyik takes in all of New Brunswick as well as parts of Maine and Quebec, came out in opposition of the pipeline earlier this year.

Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett officially removed Canada’s objector status to the UN declaration on Tuesday.

The declaration recognizes Indigenous Peoples’ basic human rights, as well as rights to self-determination, language, equality and land, among others. It states Aboriginal people cannot be forcibly removed from land they have traditionally owned or used without “free, prior and informed consent.”

The UN document isn’t legally binding, but Bennett said the government intends to implement it in accordance with the Constitution.

READ STORY

By Julianne Hazlewood, CBC News Posted: May 11, 2016 6:01 PM, as posted at http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/un-declaration-energy-east-pipeline-veto-1.3576710

Enbridge and Kinder Morgan Lobby Hard As Feds Change Tune on Pipelines (May 2016)

It’s been a month of mostly good news for Enbridge and Kinder Morgan, the two companies pushing to build major pipeline projects from Alberta’s oilsands to British Columbia’s coast.

Quick recap: on April 11, the National Post reported that the federal government is drawing up a pipeline implementation strategy for Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion Project and TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline.

Two weeks later, Bloomberg noted the federal government is reevaluating its tanker ban on the province’s northern coast, which currently bars exports from the Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline. On the same day (April 25), Enbridge’s Line 3 replacement project was quietly approved by the National Energy Board, boosting future exports by 370,000 barrels/day.

Capping off the busy spell is the May 6 announcement that Enbridge has requested a three year extension from the National Energy Board for the Northern Gateway pipeline. The company is required to begin construction by 2016 according to its current permits but says it needs more time to lock down legal permissions and further consult with Indigenous peoples.

The reinvigoration of these pipeline projects come on the heels of a major lobbying effort by both Enbridge and Kinder Morgan.

Enbridge and Kinder Morgan Met with Federal Officials a Combined 37 Times Since October

Since the federal Liberals were elected in October 2015, Enbridge has met with federal officials 20 times, including two meetings with Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr, another two meetings with Fisheries and Oceans Minister Hunter Tootoo and one meeting with Transport Minister Marc Garneau.

The company, represented in lobbying activities by CEO Al Monaco, met with Janet Annesley, chief of staff of the Department of Natural Resources and former vice president for communications at the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, another three times.

In that same span, Kinder Morgan Canada president Ian Anderson lobbied federal officials 17 times. Four of those meetings included Bob Hamilton, deputy minister of the Department of Natural Resources. The company met with Timothy Gardiner, director general of the department of Natural Resources, another three times.

It also lobbied Gerald Butts, principal secretary and right-hand man for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as well as Environment and Climate Change Canada’s chief of staff Marlo Raynolds.

Pipeline Companies ‘Absolutely Desperate to Start Construction’

Such numbers don’t match Suncor’s 46 registered lobbying efforts since October. But they’re certainly notable.

“The concern is that corporations from Texas like Kinder Morgan are able to purchase undue influence due to their ability to afford an army of lobbyists,” says Kai Nagata, Dogwood Initiative’s energy and democracy director. “The content of their lobbying, to my mind, has got to be pretty clear. They’re absolutely desperate to start construction.”

“The longer that they are forced to delay their project, especially in the current price environment, the longer that a review takes, the more their project costs increase and the more money they lose, and the more restless their shippers become,” he adds.

The federal government has attempted to appear neutral on the subject of pipelines, reiterating that the review process conducted by the National Energy Board is intended to be independent.

But the Alberta government has taken a much more aggressive stance, pushing hard for both Kinder Morgan and Energy East despite significant opposition from Indigenous and climate activists.

Resurrected Northern Gateway to Make Kinder Morgan More Appealing

Which makes the rumours around Northern Gateway rather confounding.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley previously expressed skepticism about the future of the project. Shortly before the province’s election in 2015, she stated that “I think that there’s just too much environmental sensitivity there and I think there’s a genuine concern by the indigenous communities.”

Little has changed on those fronts. The recent B.C. Supreme Court ruling on the province’s failure to consult with Gitga’at and other Coastal First Nations about the pipeline will further delay the project.

Nagata suggests that Enbridge hasn’t counted on Northern Gateway in its business plan for many years (it’s set to spend billions in the coming years on renewable energy projects).

In other words, the supposed resuscitation of the project may serve as a clever piece of horse trading to make other projects appear as the lesser of two evils compared to the highly contentious Northern Gateway.

“[They’ll] throw it under the bus as a sacrifice to move Kinder Morgan or Energy East forward,” Nagata says. “But in order for that strategy to work, they have to make Northern Gateway appear viable.”

Potential Bilateral Trade Deal with China May Increase Pressure on Governments

Such moves require careful coordination. That’s where effective lobbying efforts may well come in.

Nagata suggests that pressures may also be coming from China, which Canada is preparing (and might have already started) to negotiate a free-trade agreement with: “China has made no secret of its desire for a West Coast pipeline and greater ownership of Canadian oil companies,” he says.

Such realities put Canadian politicians in a very tricky spot, given they’re already subject to annual budget cycles and fickle public opinion.

But Nagata emphasizes that B.C. residents aren’t about to sacrifice the province’s coast to make up for poor planning by the governments of Alberta and Canada. If the National Energy Board and federal government ends up approving the Kinder Morgan project, it will come with legal and political ramifications, he says.

“It’s a risky strategy, because I can tell you it’s certainly motivating British Columbians to take a stand for their interests,” he says. “This is a short-term move that will have long-term consequences for these politicians and their political brands, especially in B.C.”

By James Wilt • Monday, May 9, 2016 – 10:59, as posted at http://www.desmog.ca/2016/05/09/enbridge-and-kinder-morgan-lobby-hard-feds-change-tune-pipelines

Of course Alberta’s wildfire is political. Everything is political (May 2016)

Burnt-out cars, charred and flattened homes, air soft with smoke in a grey-hued sunrise. The fire had eaten much on its first terrible day, before growing ever wilder and uncontrolled.

“It was just like an apocalypse,” one man told CBC Radio, of the walls of flame that lined the highways and kissed the treetops and the black inferno sky above Fort McMurray: the heart of the oilsands.

Until submerged in a fire of biblical proportions, Fort Mac had long functioned as a kind of shorthand for Alberta vs. Canada animosity. The place where bitumen was squeezed from sand, imagined and unvisited by most Canadians who nonetheless hold some opinion about our economic dependence on the oil industry and the threat of climate change.

(Never mind that Fort Mac runs on the work of average Canadians, the brains of the oilsands reside elsewhere.)
Local fire chief Darby Allen called it a “nasty, dirty” fire, adjectives uttered in the past to describe the belabored way oil companies extract their resource from the land, transforming it.

And that metaphor, of Fort McMurray as the heart of oilsands darkness, was on the minds of some as the fire broke: “I’m glad the #FortMacFire is happening in the province most responsible for causing climate change that caused the fire in the first place,” tweeted one Vancouver man, displaying gross callousness, even if many others had already, silently, seen a terrible irony.

Far more measured was Elizabeth May who, pressed by reporters, called it “a disaster that is very related to the global climate crisis,” according to the National Observer.

Most perversely, some even accused a “disgusting” Alberta Premier Rachel Notley of using the fire to appear to care about an oil town in a display of crass opportunism.

The larger story, of course, has been national dismay at the unfolding tragedy and an unusually united amount of love flowing towards the oil rigs.
But wistful calls for everyone to set aside politics ring false. A wildfire may be indiscriminate, but people and places are always political. Inevitably, they taint events, and they will taint this, too.

Before it is satiated, the fire will devastate tens of thousands of people, and the miracle is that no one has died.
The politics is, as always, as you see it. As for any kind of reckoning, the most important is to come, when those forced to flee return to tally what is left of their lives

By: Rosemary Westwood Metro Published on Thu May 05 2016, as posted at http://www.metronews.ca/views/metro-views/2016/05/05/of-course-fort-mcmurray-wildfire-is-political.html

City of Laval rejects Energy East pipeline project (May 2016)

Energy East threatens our quality of life and our security and does not fit in with our future vision for Laval,” Mayor Marc Demers said. “This project, which carries only risks for Laval residents, in addition to slowing the transition to a green economy, must be rejected by the BAPE.”
Mayor of Laval Marc Demers

On April 20, officials with the City of Laval presented the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE) with a memorandum explaining Laval’s reasons for categorically rejecting Energy East’s controversial oil pipeline project.

Just risks, Demers said

“Energy East threatens our quality of life and our security and does not fit in with our future vision for Laval,” Mayor Marc Demers said. “This project, which carries only risks for Laval residents, in addition to slowing the transition to a green economy, must be rejected by the BAPE.”

Demers said the project promoter, TransCanada, “does not seem to be able to guarantee the security of its pipelines. Its project threatens our health and our environment while imposing all the risks. Never will we negotiate the security of our citizens.”

Not in step with vision

Demers said Energy East’s project isn’t compatible with Laval’s long-term vision for its territory which emphasizes the integration of rural and urban values. Laval’s brief states that the city does not believe that the production and transport of supplementary volumes of crude oil, with all the inherent risks, is necessary in the present economic context and while taking into account commitments made by Canada and Quebec to transition energetically in view of climate change.

According to an outline proposed by TransCanada, the pipeline would cross the island of Laval from north to south at the east end. Thus it would cross the Mille Îles and des Prairies rivers, where there are several areas that are protected for their rich biodiversity, as well as a significant agricultural zone, and two residential neighbourhoods, one in the north and the other in the south.

Potential spill impacts

Laval’s memo also expresses strong concerns regarding the potential impacts of a spill on the health and security of the population, on the high quality agricultural lands, on property values and on sensitive eco-systems. The memo points out that in the case of a spill into the Outaouais River, the forced closing of the Montreal region’s water supply would result in heavy economic losses for Laval businesses and industries, without even taking into account the impact on citizens.

As well, the lack of available water generated by such an incident could compromise fire department interventions and would thus also compromise the safety of citizens, infrastructures and the environment. Laval’s memo also rejected the argument that the abandonment of Energy East’s pipeline project would lead to more oil being transported by train. “We are using less and less oil in Quebec and we will be using less and less in the future,” said Demers. The city’s memo can consulted online at this web address: http://www.laval.ca/Documents/Pages/Fr/Nouvelles/memoire-laval-bape-avril-2016.pdf

By GBAdmin, May 4, 2016, as posted at http://www.lavalnews.ca/2016/05/04/city-laval-rejects-energy-east-pipeline-project/

Another Billboard!

Local efforts to raise awareness about the risky nature of TransCanada’s Energy East project are ramping up once more with the launch of a cam
paign to raise funds for a second billboard, this one to be placed on Highway 11 North, bringing the message to southbound traffic.

North-Bay-google-Billboards1&24thJuly2015-event-landscape

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Donations can be made through the group’s on-line “crowd-funding” site: Click here to support The “No Energy East” Billboard by Stop Energy East (North Bay) using the online page with GoFundMe. If you’d rather make your donation by cash or cheque, please call Kay at 705-474-8794 or text at 705-978-3153 or send Kay an email

SEE DEDICATED PAGE ABOUT STOP ENERGY EAST’S BILLBOARD CAMPAIGN

Fredericton rescinds pro-Energy East letter intended for Justin Trudeau (May 2016)

Fredericton council voted unanimously on Monday night to rescind a pro-Energy East pipeline letter that was to be sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau following a lengthy debate that over how the document was approved behind closed doors.

Fredericton council was pushed onto the defensive after the letter became public last week and questions were raised over how the letter was approved in a closed meeting in January, which violated the Municipalities Act.

Mayor Brad Woodside deflected criticism about council’s decision to hold the meeting in a private session.

“It’s everybody’s responsibility, not just mine. It’s yours, it’s the clerk’s, it’s our staff’s,” Woodside said.

Councillors discussed the issue for almost 40 minutes on Monday in open session before voting on what to do with the letter.

The lengthy debate sparked a few tense moments between the city politicians.

READ FULL STORY

By Lauren Bird, Daniel McHardie, CBC News Posted: May 03, 2016 10:19 AM AT Last Updated: May 03, 2016 10:20 AM, as posted at http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/fredericton-rescinds-energy-east-letter-1.3563710