Proposed route of twin pipeline that would carry light petroleum liquids east to Alberta and diluted bitumen west to Kitimat.

Scientists rap Enbridge pipeline review

Panel counted benefits from production, but not risks of consumption of heavy oil, Prime Minister Stephen Harper told

The federal review panel for the Enbridge Northern Gateway proposal downplayed the risks of a heavy oil pipeline and tanker terminal at Kitimat, and its endorsement should be rejected, 300 scientists have told Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The federal cabinet is expected to release its decision on the project this month, after a review panel report in December recommended it is in the public interest.

A letter from two University of B.C. scientists and one from Simon Fraser University, endorsed by academics and graduate students from around the world, was released this week. It says the panel’s report took “a broad view of the economic benefits, but an asymmetrically narrow view of the environmental risks and costs.”

The benefits come to Alberta oil sands producers from an expected higher price for their crude in Asia. But the environmental risks assessed by the panel are limited to transportation by pipeline and tanker, and omit the risks and emission effects from production and later consumption of the oil, the letter states.

Northern Gateway project leader Janet Holder said the joint review panel (JRP) weighed evidence of from top experts in the field.

“By actively seeking to undermine the work of these experts outside of the JRP process, the signatories of this letter are denying the experts an opportunity to defend their work,” Holder said.

The Harper government has signalled in recent weeks it is preparing to green-light the project. On May 14, Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford and Transport Minister Lisa Raitt announced a new rule for federally regulated pipelines, assigning “absolute liability” for costs and damages of $1 billion even when their operation is not at fault. This is on top of unlimited liability when the operator is at fault or negligent.

On May 27, Rickford announced a new major projects management office for Western Canada, intended to increase aboriginal employment and business opportunities related to pipelines, tankers and safety systems to protect them.

The JRP report cited 209 conditions, including a protection plan for whales and other marine mammals and continued work on heavy oil cleanup.

Northern Gateway officials say their marine spill prevention and response capabilities would be more than three times required by existing law. Pipeline steel would be 20% thicker than required, with the pipelines monitored and pump stations staffed around the clock.

 

Just Posted

Streets of Chilliwack to come alive with classic cars, summer parties

Fortin’s Village Classic Car Show and Party in the Park draw tens of thousands to downtown Chilliwack

Seven Days in Chilliwack

A list of community events happening in Chilliwack from June 17 to 23

Chilliwack’s Secondary Characters celebrate a decade of drama with cabaret

Secondary Characters 10th annual Confectioner’s Cabaret features desserts, performing arts

National Indigenous Peoples Day in Chilliwack has two events

One event is at Tzeachten Field and the other at the Sto:lo Resource Centre

UPDATE: Two-year-old involved in Chilliwack pool drowning has died

Toddler was reported to not be breathing as air ambulance called out Thursday afternoon

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Metro Vancouver’s air quality could be the worst yet this wildfire season

As wildfire season approached, Metro Vancouver experts predict the air will be an issue for many

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Update: Multiple fires along the railway tracks in Pitt Meadows

CP rail has closed tracks while firefighters work

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

B.C. farmers concerned Agricultural Land Reserve changes choking their livelihood

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting hosted on Vancouver Island

Most Read