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Burnaby council officially opposes proposed pipeline expansion

Mayor Derek Corrigan -
Mayor Derek Corrigan
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The proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion is all risk and no reward for Burnaby, said Burnaby council in officially opposing the project Monday.

The company is proposing to twin its Trans Mountain pipeline, which runs from Edmonton to Burnaby, to allow increased exports via tanker ships of oil sands crude to overseas markets such as China.

Council approved staff recommendations in a lengthy report providing a preliminary assessment of the proposal. It voted to express opposition to the project and to advise senior governments and regulatory agencies of its views.

Coun. Sav Dhaliwal questioned the province's decision to accept the National Energy Board's own environmental assessments of such projects to meet provincial environmental requirements.

"There's no one looking after the interests of British Columbia," he said.

The pipeline expansion would likely pose a threat to Chevron's operations in North Burnaby since it would have to compete with overseas markets for the crude it needs, noted Coun. Paul McDonell.

"It's all about exporting our resources outside the country," said Coun. Colleen Jordan. "It's not a matter of meeting local needs."

Coun. Pietro Calendino said Burnaby will be taking "100 per cent of the risk," of the project. "If we really want to create jobs, why don't we create value-added product [instead of exporting resources]."

According to the report, the pipeline currently provides 90 per cent of B.C.'s gasoline and diesel, 70 to 80 per cent of its jet fuel needs and 20 per cent of Washington state's needs.

"No one can suggest we're not doing our part to meet the needs of gasoline and jet fuel in the Lower Mainland," said Mayor Derek Corrigan.

He questioned why oil sands crude, which is "very expensive," is being exported to refineries overseas only to have finished petroleum products shipped back again, suggesting it might have something to do with lax environmental regulations in China.

"I suspect it makes sense for the multinational corporations but it doesn't make sense to the North American citizen, and we need to get to the bottom of that."

wchow@burnabynewsleader.com

twitter.com/WandaChow

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