National Energy Board decision imminent on request to consider full climate impacts of project; 20 intervenors voice support including cities, First Nations, MPs, community groups
Friday February 1, 2019
Undeced Coast Salish Territories (VANCOUVER, BC) — On Thursday, January 31, international environmental organization Stand.earth filed its final comments in its motion calling on the National Energy Board to include a full assessment of upstream and downstream climate emissions in the Board’s reconsideration of the Trans Mountain Pipeline.
The motion says the NEB should conduct an assessment of the project’s upstream and downstream climate impacts similar to the Board’s assessment on the Energy East Pipeline, arguing the federal government knows more about the dangers of climate change than it did four years ago during the project’s original assessment. The NEB opted throughout the original review process to avoid considering the project’s upstream and downstream climate impacts.
“This is the last chance to make sure the NEB gives the Trans Mountain Pipeline a full climate review — a review similar to its review of the Energy East Pipeline. If the National Energy Board doesn’t consider the climate impacts of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, who will? There is no other regulatory body to consider these very serious concerns, which is why 20 intervenors have joined us in raising the alarm that climate concerns must be addressed before any decision on this pipeline is made,” said Sven Biggs, Climate and Energy Campaigner at Stand.earth.
Earlier this week, Trans Mountain, the pipeline company now owned by the Canadian federal government, filed its response to Stand.earth’s motion. On Thursday, Stand.earth filed its final reply to that response. The NEB’s decision on the motion is now imminent. The NEB faces a February 22 deadline to complete its second review of the pipeline after the Federal Court of Appeal quashed permits for the project and suspended construction in August 2018.
Last week, the NEB opened a two-day comment period on Stand.earth’s motion, which was available only to the 90 intervenor groups already part of the reconsideration process. Twenty intervenors — including the City of Vancouver, District of North Vancouver, Green Party leader Elizabeth May, NDP MP Peter Julian, the Shxw’ōwhámel First Nation, Nooaitch Indian Band, Heiltsuk First Nation, Adams Lake Indian Band, Malahat First Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and ten other environmental and community groups — filed letters in support of Stand.earth’s motion.
“I would like to echo the call from Stand.earth to meaningfully consider the up and downstream impacts that the Trans Mountain Expansion project (TMX), if approved, would have on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change. This should have been a consideration from the beginning, and especially in light of Canada’s climate commitments, is not one that can be excluded from this process,” said a letter from Green Party leader Elizabeth May.
“Faced with this warning that the need for global emissions cuts is now an emergency and given unequivocal evidence that world oil consumption must begin to decline by 2020, Canada remains committed to construct two major pipeline expansions. Trans Mountain and Line 3 will facilitate a vast increase in our oil sands production … by far the largest source of emissions growth in the entire Canadian economy,” said a letter from NDP MP Peter Julian.
Stand.earth submitted nearly 70 pages of evidence as part of its motion, including the recent report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that says the world has just 12 years to reduce emissions by 45% from 2010 levels to keep warming below 1.5C and avoid the worst impacts of climate change.