Burnaby Strikes back in Kinder Morgan over Trans Mountain pipeline dispute

The city of Burnaby, British Columbia, accused Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd of disrespecting municipal regulations on Friday, after the company appealed to Canada’s energy regulator for approval to begin work on its Trans Mountain petroleum pipeline.

The company, a unit of Houston-based Kinder Morgan Inc , on Thursday asked the National Energy Board for approval to begin some construction work in Burnaby as it has been not able to acquire the necessary permits from the city.

Kinder Morgan said delays were costing it millions of dollars each month and the town was failing to behave in a “timely fashion.”

The Trans Mountain expansion would triple capacity on the current pipeline from the oil-rich province of Alberta to the British Columbia coast to 890,000 barrels a day, and was accepted by the federal government this past year despite fierce opposition from environmentalists, aboriginal groups and a few municipalities.

Canada’s oil industry says it needs the expanded pipeline capacity to open up export markets in Asia and raise the cost of its landlocked crude.

Officials in the City of Burnaby, home to the marine terminal and tank farm in which the pipeline terminates, rebuked Kinder Morgan for attractive to the regulator.

“Due to the size and extent of Kinder Morgan’s job, these concessions take some time,” city manager Lambert Chu said in a statement. “For many months city employees have worked diligently and also have met regularly with business representatives in the procedure as instructed by the NEB.. Now the company appears to need more.”

Kinder Morgan declined to comment on the City of Burnaby’s statements.

NEB spokesman James Stevenson said the regulator had received the corporation’s petition and could set out a procedure for reviewing it.

Mayor Derek Corrigan said Kinder Morgan President Ian Anderson came to his office on Wednesday to complain about the permitting process.

Corrigan is a vocal opponent of the pipeline project and has vowed civil disobedience to help interrupt construction. He said on Friday that he doesn’t have an influence on the rate of the municipal regulatory procedure.

“The town remains opposed to Kinder Morgan’s pipeline project and council will continue to pursue every legal choice to oppose the project,” Corrigan said in a statement. “We shall not, however, interfere with procedures which Kinder Morgan has a right to pursue, such as requests for city licenses.”

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

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