Blackfalds town council has expressed its unanimous support for the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project.
During their regular meeting on May 8, council directed administration to craft a letter in support of the project in a response to a request from the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) which is drafting a resolution to send to the federal and provincial governments urging them to continue their advocacy efforts to complete the project.
Mayor Richard Poole says council has strong feelings about the need for the pipeline expansion to go ahead.
“First of all, we supported the resolution when it came up at AUMA,” says Poole. “Within our council, a number of comments were made that it was an obvious item that needs support. There’s obvious support for it throughout the community and we would be remiss if we didn’t do that.
“We have a lot of citizens in our town who work for the energy industry in many different ways. Whether they’re out on the pipelines, whether they’re working in support industries, we have different groups that make supplies for them. We have a lot of people within our community who depend on the energy industry for their livelihood.”
Despite opposition, hold-ups and other delays in seeing the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project moving ahead, Poole says he and council remain hopeful the project will proceed at some point.
“You hear Premier Notley describe it and she’s confident it’s going to go through, you hear our neighbours to the west describe it and they’re confident it’s not going to go through,” Poole says. “There’s a lot of controversy out there but we are very hopeful it will go through. I think there’s a lot of need for it and I think that our province has proven that the pipeline going through will be significantly beneficial to both Alberta and to B.C.”
Kinder Morgan announced the Trans Mountain Expansion Project in May of 2012 in response to requests from oil companies to help them reach more markets by expanding the capacity of North America’s only pipeline with access to the west coast. The project was granted approval from the federal government on November 29, 2016, following a 29 month review that the National Energy Board concluded was in the Canadian public interest and recommended the Federal Governor in council approve the expansion.
These approvals are said to allow the project to proceed with 157 conditions. In addition, the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office issued an environmental assessment certificate for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project.
The original pipeline was built in 1953 and continues to operate today. The $7.4 billion expansion would essentially twin the existing 1,150 kilometre pipeline between Strathcona County near Edmonton and Burnaby, .B.C. with 980 kms of new pipeline.
Kinder Morgan say the expansion would help ensure Canada gets full value for its oil and producers earn more revenue for their product. Meaning all three levels of government could collect more tax revenue from oil and contribute more to the services that benefit all Canadians.
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