Big Risk, Little Reward: BC Wants To Renegotiate On Northern Gateway Pipeline
B.C. Premier Christy Clark has declared that it is unreasonable for her province to take on a majority of the risk involved with the planned Northern Gateway Pipeline and only getting back eight percent of the revenue.
B.C’s Environment Minister Terry Lake said the province would be facing 100 percent of the marine risk with tanker traffic and 58 percent of the land risk of the pipeline. His concern comes after three recent spills involving Alberta pipelines. Of course, Lake did not specify how much compensation the province would need to get to accept the risk.
“We want to absolutely minimize the risk but also we want a fair share of the benefits for our province to be a partner,” he told reporters.
Though the project is the subject of hearings at the moment, Enbridge is waiting only on federal approval. However, Lake points out that dozens of permits from the B.C. government are still pending.
Joe Oliver, the Natural Resources Minister who declared that environmentalist “radicals” were taking over the federal hearing, responded to the comments by saying that no project will go ahead if it doesn’t meet with the “rigorous” federal environmental standards.
On the Alberta side, the Intergovernmental Affairs Minister, Cal Dallas, declared that his province doesn’t expect to benefit from other provinces’ natural resources, so it doesn’t make sense to compensate British Columbia:
“We don’t have any history of sharing in uranium in Saskatchewan or the vast mining resources that exist in Ontario and Quebec and certainly with respect to forestry products and the like that move from west to east from British Columbia so the answer is we have a system in place, it’s worked well,” he told reporters.
Of course, these resources don’t general include the type of out of province risk that building and maintaining a pipeline does.
Photo Credit: World Economic Forum