Pipeline: rewards minimal, risk too great, council hears

TransMountain pipeline expansion critic issues warning to township

Township council has been told the benefits of a second oil pipeline through Langley have been overstated and they are outweighed by the potential losses that would result from an oil spill.

The opinion was delivered at the Monday Dec. 16 meeting of council by Liz McDowell, executive director of Conversations for Responsible Economic Development (CRED), a self-described group of “professionals and business leaders from the tourism, real estate, tech, health, creative and other service-based sectors” who say they want to protect the regional economy from threats to long-term development.

McDowell said the pipeline will create about 50 B.C. jobs, most of them low-skilled.

CRED estimates the project will contribute an average of $26.5 million in taxes each year to  provincial and local governments, which isn’t much, McDowell said.

“It’s enough to support one school the size of Langley Fine Arts,” said McDowell, a graduate of the Fort Langley high school, who grew up in Walnut Grove.

While the odds of a pipeline spill are low, the potential consequences would be “catastrophic,” McDowell said.

Based on the fallout from oil spills in the U.S. the cost to B.C. would be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, CRED projects.

Property values would drop, employment would rise and the province’s image as a pristine, green tourist destination would suffer.

“It’s trading away the ‘Beautiful B.C.’ brand,” McDowell said.

Alberta and overseas companies will reap most of the profits, she said.

McDowell was invited to speak to council after she appeared at a November forum organized by local resident Byron Smith, who doesn’t want the pipeline running through his family’s 31-acre farm near Fort Langley.

Council is considering whether it should seek intervenor status at National Energy Board hearings on Kinder Morgan’s twinning of the TransMountain pipeline.

Mayor Jack Froese said representatives of Kinder Morgan have been invited to make a presentation to council about the pipeline and so has the National Energy Board (NEB), the agency that will decide if the project proceeds.

On Monday, Kinder Morgan formally filed an application with the NEB.

The company says the next step will be for the NEB “to establish a hearing schedule that corresponds to the federal government’s legislated 15-month review and decision timeframe.”

The company hopes to have the new line open by 2017.

The proposed $5.4 billion project will increase the current 300,000-barrel-per-day capacity to 890,000.

 

It is also expected to quintuple tanker traffic at the TransMountain Burnaby facility to nearly 300 ships a year.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Monday marks one-year anniversary of man missing from Langley

Searl Smith was last seen leaving Langley Memorial Hospital on Feb. 17, 2019.

Fort Langley man released from quarantined cruise ship in Japan

Because Spencer Fehrenbacher has American citizenship, he was evacuated by the U.S.

Langley’s Colyn punches his ticket to U SPORTS championships

Trinity Western University runner records two personal bests at Seattle meet

Training injury will keep Langley boxer out of Gallagher tournament

Light middleweight Ali Owainati suffered a cut lip

VIDEO: Half-marathon for hospice society draws hundreds to new Langley route

Despite a mudslide that forced a last-minute move, attendance was up, slightly

VIDEO: Kawhi Leonard wins first Kobe Bryant All-Star MVP award

Leonard scored 30 points and hit eight 3-pointers to lead Team LeBron to a 157-155 victory

BC Ferries sailings filling up Family Day Monday

More than 20 sailings added between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen for long weekend

Amtrak warns of delays as railways from Seattle to B.C. blocked by Wet’suwet’en supporters

Coastal GasLink said it’s signed benefits agreements with all 20 elected band councils along pipeline route

Federal emergency group meets on pipeline protests as rail blockades continue

There’s mounting political pressure for Trudeau to put an end to the blockades

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

Most Read