Former BC Hydro CEO: Kinder Morgan Pipeline Hearing Is A "Sham"

Marc Eliesen is a former BC Hydro CEO and has sat on the board of directors of tarsands giant Suncor. He was due to speak as an Intervenor on the National Energy Boards hearing into the Kinder Morgan / Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project which would see a tripling of bitumen piped from the Alberta tarsands to tankers off Vancouver's coast.

Eliesen just withdrew from the process.

In this letter to the Alberta-based National Energy Board, Eliesen blasts the NEB "sham" of a process.

Continued involvement with this process is a waste of time and effort, and represents a disservice to the public interest because it endorses a fraudulent process

Many of his criticisms of the process - which he paints as an affront on Canadian democracy - are echoed in Green MLA Andrew Weaver's latest post on the Kinder Morgan pipeline.

In particular, both talk about their frustrations as Intervenors in trying to investigate the scientific basis for assertions made in Trans Mountain's pipeline expansion proposal.

Weaver writes that his questions about the properties of diluted bitumen in sea water typical of that found off the coast of Vancouver and Victoria have been met with a series of half answers and "troubling" responses. He concludes:

there is a profound gap in scientific knowledge as to what would happen if diluted bitumen were to be released into the Salish Sea.

Eliesen, in his letter, writes:

It is shocking that in a process such as this where due diligence is required on a major capital project that the Board has not held Trans Mountain to a minimum professional standard of accountability and transparency.

Eliesen's letter finishes by calling for the BC government to cancel its Equivalency Agreement with the NEB and to do its own environmental assessment.

Meanwhile, protestors against the pipeline continue to be encamped at the two boreholes on Burnaby Mountain. Last week they prevented Kinder Morgan contractors performing work on the mountain.

Many will be in court on Wednesday after Kinder Morgan / Trans Mountain filed a multi-million dollar law suit against several Burnaby residents including two SFU professors.

Sometimes it feels like we're living in the Twilight Zone. Climate scientists are telling us that humanity must wean itself off fossil fuels by 2100 to avoid "severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts” of climate change. Yet we are speeding full speed ahead with coal, gas, and oil infrastructure projects that massively expand the fossil fuel industrial complex at a time when it should be shrinking.

What's more, the NEB process does not even allow for discussion about the climate impact of the pipeline.