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

Aussies buy majority stake in Red Chris mine

Company looks forward to relationship with Tahltan Nation

B.C. First Nations’ intake of essential nutrients to drop by 31 per cent: study

Professors project the nutrient decrease by 2050 if climate change mitigation continues as is

B.C. minister says rural internet is ‘railroad of the 21st century’

Jinny Sims talks details about the $50-million provincial and possible $750-million federal funds

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

Teen girl accused in plot to attack Kamloops school with weapons out on bail

Judge warned the girl she would be back in jail if she threatened to shoot anyone

Crown drops one assault charge against B.C. man linked to human remains probe

Curtis Wayne Sagmoen will still stand trial on one count of assault causing bodily harm in December.

POLICE: ‘Don’t leave children unattended in vehicles’

Williams Lake RCMP issue warning after attending complaint at Walmart Wednesday

ICBC shifts to Alberta model, with higher rates, private insurers say

Minor injury cap, court restrictions take effect April 1 in B.C.

Trans woman hopes funding cut will send message to B.C. rape crisis group

Rape Relief does not turn transgender women away and often connects them to other services, group says

B.C. sees fourth straight day of record-breaking warmth

Bob Marley said it best: The sun is shining and the weather is sweet

UPDATE: Two avalanches confirmed at Okanagan ski resort, one in hospital

A man has been sent to hospital after an isothermal avalanche at SilverStar March 20

Most Read