Six reasons Kinder Morgan’s pipeline won’t be built

Six reasons Dogwood’s director of community organizing is feeling hopeful about beating Kinder Morgan

My sons and I pass the Kinder Morgan tank farm on our way to school in the morning and on our way home in the evening. Every day we get a glimpse of the work the company is continuing to do to clear trees and prepare for supposed construction of new tanks. It hits me right in the gut to see trees torn down on the mountain I call home.

But as hard as this is to witness with my very eyes, my heart is full of hope because this is only one part of the story. That’s why I’m so excited and proud to see Dogwood volunteer teams hitting the phones this week to help thousands of British Columbians comment on the B.C. government’s proposed oil spill regulations.

I know what you’re probably thinking. The Prime Minister is talking about bailing out Kinder Morgan with taxpayer dollars and I’m talking about provincial spill regulations? Has Dogwood gone delusional?

I get it. It is a weird time because we are winning to a degree we’ve never experienced before. It just doesn’t feel that way on the ground or in the airwaves at the moment because of oil industry pushback, complete with pro-pipeline media coverage around unfavourable polling numbers and “national interest” fear mongering. But the facts are the facts — Texas is ready to walk.

If you need more reassurance that Kinder Morgan is indeed headed for a dead end, here are six things that make me feel confident.

1. Indigenous title and rights

Kinder Morgan and the federal Liberal government are conspicuously not talking about the still pending legal cases challenging federal and provincial approvals of their pipeline and tanker proposal. As Indigenous leaders have pointed out, B.C. First Nations have constitutionally-recognized rights to be at the table as decision-makers on the land they still hold title to. Kinder Morgan has fewer agreements with First Nations now than it had one year ago. What the company is not telling the media and the public is that those agreements don’t necessarily mean the Nations have consented to the project, and dozens of other Nations stand firmly opposed. You can’t build a pipeline unless you have the support of the Indigenous title holders from each of the impacted Nations.

As the National Observer just broke this week, there is evidence the federal government had already decided to approve the project while still pretending to be consulting and negotiating in good faith with the Tsleil-Waututh and other First Nations. If Kinder Morgan and the federal government lose even one of those pending cases, the project cannot move ahead as planned.

2. Kinder Morgan’s Texas executives are preparing for an exit

As sickening as it is, the work at the Burnaby Mountain tank farm, the giant machinery at the Westridge Marine Terminal, and the pipes arriving at stockpiling locations in Coquitlam and Kamloops are all part of the “essential” work that Kinder Morgan could not stop two weeks ago when it decided to suspend new spending. Those contracts were already underway and Kinder Morgan is prepared to carry them through — the costs will be relatively minor to the multi-billion dollar corporation when they walk away from the project.

Meanwhile, CEO Steve Kean admitted to Kinder Morgan’s investors last week that the Trans Mountain expansion may be “untenable” for the company to move forward with — in spite of ongoing negotiations with the federal government over taxpayer investment.

3. The business case will never add up

No one else can make money off this thing. Kinder Morgan has already tried to find investment partners for this doomed pipeline and tanker project, and they’ve still come up short on the cash they need to get it done. Now, the liabilities are too high for any other company to want to buy the whole thing from the Texas company. Plus, it doesn’t look like Asian markets are interested in buying tar sands sludge even if they do have capacity to refine it.

4. Outstanding NEB conditions

This is Kinder Morgan’s other big tell. The company still has not met all the conditions the National Energy Board imposed with its 2016 approval of the project. They still don’t have a final route approved through huge swaths of British Columbia. Not only that — the company recently asked the NEB to delay their upcoming hearings. Everyday residents of the Fraser Valley were ready with their detailed submissions, but Kinder Morgan was not. This is a long-standing pattern for the Texas company, which has literally never built a pipeline in Canada before.

Even more significant, the NEB rejected Kinder Morgan’s attempt to get out of its responsibility to have cash on hand in the event of an oil spill (they would be responsible for paying for the response). It’s not just because they’re a company with a bad track record — they straight up don’t have the money.

5. Most Canadians oppose a taxpayer-funded bailout

Nothing can unite the two sides of the political spectrum like a huge whack of corporate welfare. If the federal Liberals try to keep Kinder Morgan or a new buyer in the game — or propose buying the whole line, tank farm and marine terminal itself — they’ll face a bigger public backlash than ever. And British Columbians will still do whatever it takes to stop the project. And there will still be Indigenous Nations with constitutionally-recognized rights and title in the way.

Angus Reid polled Canadians on whether tax dollars should finance Kinder Morgan pipeline

Polling by Angus Reid, April 2018

6. The B.C. government is not backing down

The Attorney General’s special counsel will bring his question to the province’s highest court by April 30. Instead of engaging in wild rhetoric, our provincial leaders are going straight to the courts to prove B.C. has the jurisdiction to restrict the expansion of diluted bitumen shipments and study the associated health and safety risks. With thousands of British Columbians keeping their feet to the fire, the B.C. government will see this through and proceed in its resolve based on the court’s ruling.

So, mobilizing to get people commenting on B.C.’s proposed oil spill regulations? It’s not what’s in the headlines or on the frontlines. But this is the kind of democratic action that will help cement the B.C. government’s opposition to Kinder Morgan for good — and will get us far better protections against oil spills of all kinds in our province for decades to come. We’re already working together on the brighter future that awaits us on the other side of beating Kinder Morgan.

If you haven’t submitted your comment yet, do it now! If you want to help us phone and text other supporters before the deadline, sign up for a volunteer event near you.

51 Responses to “Six reasons Kinder Morgan’s pipeline won’t be built”

  1. Inger says:

    NO to the pipeline & extra tanker traffic. NO to using public money to bail out oil companies.

  2. I am completely against all pipelines, and especially the transport of bitumen through our waters.

  3. David Talbot says:

    See you on Burnaby Mountain on Saturday, Rolling Justice Bus will be there!

  4. Shirley McBride says:

    It is time for the Federal govt to get serious about transitioning to renewables instead of supporting further growth in the tarsands.

  5. Anonymous says:

    You are all against building the future of canada. How about going after the polluter of the ocean all of those cities that dump their sewer into the eco system including your BC cities? Not a priority? Kill the marine life! Kill the nation!
    Guess you are all in favor in giving all your hard earned money to hypocrites and morons. Totally for the pipeline, way safer than trucking and trains. BC bring cash as you are going to need it to fill your gas tanks and heat your homes. Good luck with that.

  6. Thank you Dogwood for all that you do.

  7. Craig says:

    Do you know that if its not called kinder morgan it will get built go to wasginģton and get shipped out from there and all the tanker traffic will still travel through our waters.

  8. Paul Esslinger says:

    I am very disappointed that some want to risk destruction of our environment and violate aboriginal rights (“Canada is now a full supporter, without qualification, of the declaration.” (United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples). It reads, in part:
    “Article 8 1. Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right not to be subjected to forced assimilation or destruction of their culture. 2. States shall provide effective mechanisms for prevention of, and redress for: (a) Any action which has the aim or effect of depriving them of their integrity as distinct peoples, or of their cultural values or ethnic identities; (b) Any action which has the aim or effect of dispossessing them of their lands, territories or resources.”
    by subsidizing businesses willing to profit from our misery with building a pipeline through un-ceded native lands and exporting toxic oil from our west coast.
    The perceived “need” to export this toxic product, which will be burned further exacerbating climate change, polluting our air, and damaging our health is the result of government failure: failure to diversify our economy so that we don’t need to export oil. Successful countries do not need to export oil to be successful. Look at Japan, Singapore, and Switzerland. We need to rely less on natural and more on human resources. We should stop being the drug dealer supplying junkies with their oil fixes. This is reminiscent of Britain supplying opium to the Chinese during the opium wars of the mid-1800’s. Were I a politician, I might say, “After all, opium farmers and sellers needed jobs, too.”
    Please don’t permit the export of our oil, but leave it in the ground where it safely belongs. Job creation is important, but not the kind of jobs that are detrimental to our environment and health; and that furthermore, provide just short-term employment. How many future generations of Canadians will be employed with this pipeline expansion?
    Pipelines may be safer than shipping oil by train, but pipelines are not safe: Kinder Morgan pipelines have exploded and killed people and put our kids health at risk.
    Hopefully the feds will end subsidies for oil companies, as promised two years ago. And hopefully the above declaration is not just another empty promise.

  9. Don allen says:

    So, it’s o.k. To protest against a pipeline that will benefit all of Canada, using Canadian funds,but it’s o.k. For your province to dump so much garbage into your Pacific ocean. The pipeline will not be in your ocean.
    You greenies should give your head a shake and get in touch with the real world. I do not want my tax dollars going towards a bunch of students who couldn’t get a job doing something productive for Canada,not against Canada.

  10. Benjamin Hechter says:

    Coastal self-determination is really the only reasonable option.

  11. Charlene Simon says:

    No to time wasting, misleading discussions about spill response. It takes energy that should be unified and directed clearly against any new pipelines, phasing out fossil fuels as much as possible. No Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion. No fossil fuel subsidies. Yes, transition rapidly to clean sustainable energy that is in theNational interest.

  12. trapperfox says:

    no surprise his name is annonomous.

  13. earlrichards says:

    How is it that the Canadian taxpayers owe something to Kinder Morgan?

  14. Jeffrey Simpson says:

    Thank you for reminding me that this federal government is out of touch with the reality of climate change and environmental warming. One should not mess with nature’s balance and yet our federal government seems intent on doing just that. Do not build the Kinder-Morgan extension.

  15. I’d like to know how the BC people feel about the mess created by the fish farms in their coastal waters. The largest producer being Marine Harvest that is primarily owned by Norway, Cypress, Luxembourg, Great Britain, USA? Anything of value in this country and our government (and it doesn’t matter which one) is always there selling Canada out to the highest foreign bidder.

  16. Zoe Port says:

    All those who actually believe that B.C. will benefit from this pipeline should dig deep into the information of the situation. The only people who will really win is a huge Texas corporation and to a lesser degree Alberta. Most of the jobs in B.C. will be temporary and the taxes paid by the oil companies would be far outweighed by the cost any spill which has in the past occurred and will more than likely will in the future incur. Most of the world is moving towards alternative energy and Canada is lagging far behind and pretending that building a pipe line will help Canada will meet the Paris targets. This is so incredibly absurd I could not believe my eyes. Keep up the good work Dogwood.

  17. Mark Neumeyer says:

    If you really want financial and employment benefit to Canadians build a refinery at the tar sands, create jobs and energy security. Stop ridiculous taxpayer handouts to billion dollar multinational corporations.
    Or better yet how about we fast track transitioning to renewable energy sources!

  18. Carol Pickup says:

    I vote NO to the KinderMorgan pipeline and to any thought of public funding of this out-of date project!!

  19. Jason M says:

    If we put the same money into renewable energies, more jobs would be created and we would have a safe commodity to sell. We have no choice but to move away from burning fossil fuels, our children depend on it. Also, last I checked, Alberta is a filthy province. Nothing but garbage lines the streets, (I know this as I lived there). In BC you won’t find garbage like that. We strive to keep our province clean. It is a point of pride for us. I have witnessed Albertans throwing garbage right out of their cars windows while driving down the highway, on a regular basis. That earth destroying attitude is beyond reprehensible. BC may not be perfect, but we are trying. Alberta is not trying to improve its environment one bit. Ten years living there and working in Fort McMurray made me never want to be there again. Pure earth destruction.
    Have a great day Don


  20. Transition away from the current level of fossil fuel consumption is a must not a maybe. Change that works best is gradual not dramatic. Offer the resistance of water to resisters to deniers

  21. Lou says:

    Excellent comment I agree with you 100%0

  22. Pro oil and gas! says:

    well said!!

  23. Pro oil says:

    We will phase out fossil fuel as much as possible! We will turn off the tap to your province and see how you enjoy the winter smart ass!! This is plain stupid!! You can reduce but it has to be done in an intelligent manner to ensure people can still heat their homes and the water they use to wash themselves (if nothing else) and have electricity in their homes. Since we are not here, we have to have pipelines. Period! If you are so strongly inlined as to not use any [etroluem or gas products, then live by example!

  24. Left out another good reason: we have not gone into high gear in the campaign yet. There still needs to be a cross-country appeal to commit civil disobedience to stop it. I have set aside the money to pay muy flight from Toronto and await the invitation to come if this ever moves to construction that has to be stopped.

  25. Laurie says:

    I think you are misinformed. That oil will not be sold in BC or Canada there will be 7 times the amount of huge tankers coming to our Shores to take it elsewhere. If it spills it’s immediate disaster for all ocean life for a long long time. And who is going to pay for that cleanup? I have been told we get our oil and gas from Acron in the US anyway. Think think think.

  26. Zsaire Gable says:

    But all their cronies have invested BILLIONS into it going back 25 years and they aren’t going to give up without a fight! Say NO to Big Oil and pipelines which wouldn’t benefit Canadian’s only Big Oil! Protect our ecosystems and more to renewable s sooner rather than after it is too late!

  27. Linda says:

    JFC… Anonymous of course. Get your facts straight about sewerage discharge in BC waters. Same old rhetoric. This is BC. These are our problems. We at least and at last have dumped the entitled Liberals and are working together toward a solution to our myriad problems…

  28. hadiadances says:

    There is absolutely zero need to continue to bring our planet to the brink of self destruction created by North America’s absurd enslavement to the car and the filthy, climate destroying emissions released by multiple tons every day of the year. Countries with intelligent and sane rulers actually install amazingly efficient and convenient public transit systems and inter city rail connections Meanwhile, North Americans are slaves to their cars, the soaring gas prices and hours stuck in traffic, both to and from work. If there is a definition of insanity, then the North American addiction to the car and its climate destroying emissions would be it!! When something is broken – it MUST be fixed!!
    Simple realities: our incompetent PM has absolutely zero right to steal $8 billion of our hard earned tax money to bail out the evil Kinder Morgan machine! Our planet needs to replace fossil fuels immediately if anyone hopes to see their children survive. No government has the right to steal money from public taxes, especially for a planet trashing, broken and dead in the water project. Trudeau should be thrown out of office immediately if he dares to steal our money and GIVE it to a multimillion $$ Corporation!!
    If Canadians do NOT stand up against our idiot PM and shut down this cursed KM project for good, there will be no question that we will have him thrown out of office and demand that he pay back the citizens with his personal fortune. This is the consequence of being born with multiple millions. Let’s see if he is prepared to come up with 8 billion$$$. Trudeau has NO idea how hard Canadians work and how much our inept and corrupt government takes from us!!
    These times are challenging indeed, but it is necessary to stand together and demand a future for our children!
    Giving 8 Billion$ to a god damned filthy oil company is NOT the solution!!

  29. Debbie says:

    trump’s calling you! Pipelines wilL not benefit anyone but the oil companies. DO YOUR RESEARCH AND BTW CANADA, OUR HOME ON NATIVE LAND! Grow up & get educated.

  30. Les W Kuzyk says:

    awesome update … shutting down KM will significant here in AB and globally … towards climate action
    I write climate stories to warn and inform, really hoping it doesn’t come down to too much worst than now

  31. J. Gidora says:

    Here in bc we already have enough oil to meet our needs. Why would we jeopardize our environment for others over in Asia or wherever?? How does it benefit our province other than a few short term jobs while so many jobs would be affected in tourism and fisheries if there ever was an oil spill!! It’ s been proven time and again, oil companies don’t clean up their ” messes” Case in point Exon/ Valdez. Victoria is working on cleaning up their sewer problem and so they should!!

  32. Paul says:

    The future of Canada is not in fossil fuels. The future of Canada is emerging technologies, alternative energy sources, and in saving our eco-systems for future generations.
    Does this make me a ‘hypocrite’ or a ‘moron’?

  33. David B. Steele says:

    Good on Ya Dogwood for keeping up the fight ! Those who urge more tar sands and pipeline development are mired in the past. Their urgings will destroy the health of our planet and a promising future for the next generation

  34. Marcus Waddingron says:

    it’s very unfortunate that many commentators don’t understand 1) elementary physics
    2 )elementary chemistry 3) elementary biology, among other things. How can such a person understand the basics of climate change? How can such a person understand the difference between quality crude oil and tar? How can such a person understand why a very toxic mixture is needed just to get tar oil to flow at all? How can such a person have any real comprehension of the pollution of the Athabaska River Delta? How can such a person possibly understand that Nature needs to be respected for its intrinsic value and should not be treated simply as a commodity for our use? Dogwood provides some needed education.

  35. Daniel says:

    Hey, anonymous coward. This pipeline isn’t lowering the price of gas! Educate yourself before you spew the lies someone else paid to have told to you.

  36. Anonymous Hypopotamous says:

    You probably think most marine is killed by sewerage and not by marine traffic, fuel and oil spills, and soon, global warming of the oceans.

  37. Send the Kinder Morgan ex_Enron failures elsewhere to do what they best do (i;e. fail).

  38. azktee says:

    Hello. I have lived in BC my 62 years of life. I have a masters in environmental science, I am not a student any more. I am a lover of Super Natural British Columbia. Our natural coastline will be sullied by an oil tanker spill. Our tourism, fishing, wildlife in our oceans will be harmed. I am not a tree hugger, a student, a radical. I am a rational conventional British Columbian.

    If the rest of Canada has no respect for our beautiful province, where British Columbians get very little benefit and take all the risk on our Provincial shoulders, for the rest of Canada, that is not my idea of a good Canadian attitude. Oh well. Our Canada is diverse and filled with all types. And the new country called British Columbia will we OK with having Canada hate us. It is our coastline to protect because obviously the rest of Canada doesn’t give a damn about it.

    They want it to be trashed in the name of greed.

  39. Christiane G Trudel says:

    Exactly our point of view in Eastern Canada with TransCanada!!! Don’t let up! We are with you!! Alberta doesn’t care because they don’t have a coastline!!

  40. Christiane G Trudel says:

    To Marcus W. – Very well put!!

  41. Gerhard Herndler says:

    Refining the bitumen in Alberta would be a greater benefit to Canada. Think jobs! A much better use of billions
    of our tax $$$. Why always export out raw products? Refined distillates like gasoline are much safer to transport, even by pipeline, and would benefit both Alberta and BC. BC currently buys gasoline from the US. Think! (You’re not a Kinder-Morgan shareholder are you?)

  42. Alison Waters says:


  43. Anonymous says:


  44. So you think renewables is the future. So lets put 1000’s of wind turbines just off the coast of BC from north to south. No room on land. Solar panels on land where there is room for them or on roof tops. How many can fit on a condo roof to power the whole building. Going to need 1000’s of them to produce enough power and than might or probably not be enough. Turbine kills birds. solar panels get hot and if a birds lands on it it will burn their feet. You require energy from fossil fuels to make turbines and solar panels. Turbines are full of oil and when they fail they will spue oil all over your waters.

  45. Ann Gibson says:

    Hey Anonymous! So, if you expect me to seriously consider your point of view,how about having the courage to identify yourself!
    Talk about hypocrisy and brain shortfall! Ann Gibson

  46. Gary Blidook says:

    If you don’t have the guts to stand up for your convictions by being a real person please stay off the air.

  47. Gary Blidook says:

    You oil junkies should give your head a shake and get into the real world before there is none left for your grandkids.

  48. Gary Blidook says:

    I hate fish farms and I live in BC. These farms should be on land so they can clean up their crap before sending water back into the ocean or use a closed loop system.

  49. Gary Blidook says:

    We would benefit more from investment in clean energy. This pipeline will benefit Alberta and the US.

  50. Gary Blidook says:

    I don’t think any BCer has ever suggested stopping Alberta tar completely, we just don’t want an increase. More of us are biking and driving electric vehicles than ever. We ARE setting an example.

  51. Gary Blidook says:

    It makes me feel great to see so many BCers who are well informed and involved. Maybe it’s time we played the breakaway card like QUEBEC.

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