By Jeff Nagel
Kinder Morgan’s proposed twinning of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline through the North Thompson Valley looks more likely with the B.C. Liberals staying in power than if the NDP had won Tuesday’s election.
NDP leader Adrian Dix had vowed to block a big increase in oil tanker exports from Metro Vancouver. His reversal of a previous pledge to wait for a formal project application became a major campaign issue.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Premier Christy Clark said she believed the TV debate was the turning point of the campaign for the Liberal rebound and that the NDP’s Kinder Morgan position was a factor.
Clark said voters weren’t impressed by “the idea that you’re going to say ‘No’ to economic development before you even see it.”
She stressed the province will put any Kinder Morgan proposal to the same requirements as the planned Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline to Kitimat, including world-leading safeguards against ocean and land spills as well as a substantial share of benefits for B.C.’s risk.
“The five conditions aren’t going to change,” Clark said. “Any expansion of heavy oil is going to have to meet those five conditions.”
The Trans Mountain pipeline from northern Alberta to Burnaby has operated for more than 50 years but Kinder Morgan wants to nearly triple its flow to 890,000 barrels per day, resulting in many more oil tankers plying Vancouver harbour.