(Vancouver, May 6, 2016) – The Coastal First Nations says it is hypocritical of Enbridge to ask the National Energy Board (NEB) for a 3-year extension to increase First Nation support for its Northern Gateway Project.
Coastal First Nations Chair Kelly Russ said Enbridge has little support from BC First Nations. In fact, their letter requesting an extension makes it clear only one First Nation in BC has signed on with Enbridge.
Without the NEB’s approval, Enbridge’s certificate will expire on December 31, 2016, unless construction of the pipeline or the Kitimat Terminal has commenced by that date.
Russ said a 3-year extension until 2019 means that most of the studies submitted in Enbridge’s original application will be more than 10 years old. “They will no longer reflect the latest environmental conditions. This in unacceptable environmental assessment practice and the baseline studies must be redone and updated.”
No extension should be granted without a full examination of the work done by Enbridge over the past two years in meeting all the Approval Conditions and without an opportunity for the views of First Nations and other interested parties to be heard, he said.
Conditions change and despite Enbridge’s claims that the need for the Project is greater than ever, the drop in the price of oil makes the economics of the Project highly questionable, Russ said.
He added that we fully expect the new federal government to honour its commitment to impose a crude oil tanker ban on the North and Central Coast and Haida Gwaii. “The risk of crude oil tankers on the North and Central Coast and Haida Gwaii is unacceptable to our members and no one has yet demonstrated how to clean up a a spill of sinking bitumen.”
For more information:
Chair of the Coastal First Nations