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REPORTING · 20th June 2011
Merv Ritchie
In a new twist revealed by the Tyee News last week, the opposition to Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline gained some unwelcome friends, Kinder Morgan. A Power Point presentation delivered to investors by Kinder Morgan Canada President, Ian Anderson, revealed the extent of the plans being made to ship double the volume of Tar Sands crude off the west coast of Canada.

Kinder Morgan has argued against the Northern Gateway Plan in letters to the JRP (Joint Review Panel) currently analyzing the proposal by Enbridge, stating the presently installed and operating pipeline systems are not fully utilized. In this new Power Point presentation they argue how they are best suited to meet any potential future demands and market supply from the Alberta Oil Sands developments. They detail how their current system can be added to in stages to meet the growing needs as they develop. They state they can fully double the capacity and beat Enbridge’s cost estimate by $1.5 billion. The presentation did not include any references to the condensate, the required thinning agent for moving the tar sands oil in the pipelines. This is the second half of the Enbridge Northern Gateway proposal, an import pipeline dedicated to condensate.

Anderson presented a second benefit to their proposal over the Enbridge project, which is the ROW’s (Right Of Ways) are already established. Calling the Enbridge routing a “Greenfield”, undisturbed territory, the Kinder Morgan route is already established. He also presented details on the history of shipping through Port of Vancouver, the size of the vessels, dredging and the potential capacity of the port.

All of this bodes well for those opposed to the Enbridge plan to construct their pipelines to Kitimat except contained within Kinder Morgan’s Power Point was the revelation of their plan to construct a pipeline to Kitimat as well. By a simple visual analysis, this plan appears to avoid all the presently united First Nation groups opposed to Enbridge except the Haisla First Nation. The Haisla have reportedly accepted a payment of $50 million to give up their royalty and ownership rights and allow the LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) pipeline proposal to proceed without opposition. After the vote to approve their Village Councils decision, each Haisla member was given a cheque for $8000 just before Christmas 2010.

Read the Tyee report on the issue of tankers off the west coast here.

Read the power point presentation here.

Read about the sell off of the Haisla rights here