National Energy Board recommends going ahead with Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

National Energy Board to release reconsideration report for Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion Friday

The National Energy Board (NEB) says it will release its reconsideration report on the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion Friday morning.

She said in an email the federal government wants to "achieve the required public trust" to help move resources to market by first addressing environmental, Indigenous and local concerns.

The fate of endangered southern resident killer whales won't stop the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

The court said that the NEB's review was flawed and that the federal government could not rely on it as a basis for its decision to approve the expansion.

The NEB was directed by the federal government to reconsider two aspects of the project recommendation report related to marine shipping in September of a year ago.

The Boards says it will impose 156 conditions on the project if it's approved, and has made 16 new recommendations that "relate to matters that fall outside of the NEB's regulatory mandate, but within the authority of the Government of Canada". All of those should be done in consultation with First Nations, the report recommends. While a credible worst-case spill from the Project or a Project-related marine vessel is not likely, if it were to occur the environmental effects would be significant. The NEB's work was thorough and should withstand potential challenges, he said.

The NEB was ordered to submit a report with full indigenous evidence no later than February 22. "It felt like another rigged process with a pre-determined outcome from the start". And the solutions are either to change the regulations or to create new ones - and Moe says with Bill C-69, the federal government has chosen the second path. "We are in a climate emergency and we need to recognize the scale and scope of the emergency and respond accordingly", said Khelsilem, Squamish Nation spokesman in a press statement.

Consultation with indigenous groups is well under way and the government is in a "strong position" to decide within that time frame, but has made no decision, Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi said in an interview. And he reiterated that he believed the pipeline doesn't have the support of British Columbians.

The NDP's Murray Rankin is disappointed and predicting more lawsuits.

"The gauntlet has been thrown down", he said. Extended time does not equal due diligence.

The NEB's reaffirmation that the project is of national interest was essential, said Tim McMillan, president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. But, Hartley added, building the pipeline is still the wrong decision. "I don't think it's justified in those circumstances, in my lens". And Climate Justice Edmonton's "People on the Path" project is shifting the narrative that all Albertans are pro-pipeline by showcasing different communities' visions for a just transition in 8 foot portraits to be installed along the route. The "entire ecological context" of the southern residents is potentially significantly affected because of the project, the board found.

Meantime, cabinet is under huge pressure to decide the fate of the pipeline before the federal election in the fall.

"I understand that may not satisfy everybody but the NEB has done what it needed to do".

Berman said the decision supporting expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline "is the direct result of the Prime Minister's Office telling the board and federal bureaucrats to "get to yes". They said they will continue to fight the project in the courts and on the streets.

"We're not going to take that chance".

The Federal Court of Appeal said the NEB, in its initial May 2016 recommendation report, did not adequately address the impact a substantial increase in tanker traffic could have on area whales, or the threat of a spill of diluted bitumen from a tanker.

As for whether he and the other Liberals will pay a political price over Trans Mountain, Wilkinson was less concerned. "My experience has been that they are very thoughtful and reasonable people".

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