Kinder Morgan pleads guilty on Burnaby oil spill as tanker debate shifts south

The timing could not be worse for Kinder Morgan and Trans Mountain Pipelines, who pleaded guilty today in a Vancouver court room to charges arising from a massive 2007 oil spill that soaked a Burnaby neighbourhood and polluted Burrard Inlet.

While local communities, First Nations and environmentalists appear poised to stall a proposed oil sands pipeline to Kitimat across northern BC, Kinder Morgan and Trans Mountain have been working quietly to expand capacity to the Westridge Terminal in Burnaby to increase exports from there six-fold.

UBCM delegates voted Friday to deman a full review of that proposal, a demand so far rejected by the National Energy Board.

The UBCM motion, proposed by the Cities of Victoria and Burnaby, passsed easily once delegates put it on the floor for debate. It called for full environmental review of the Kinder Morgan project, which would require deepening of the Second Narrows to admit Suezmax tankers.

The debate on tar sands oil exports is now shifting south. If more evidence of that fact is needed,  just look at the latest issue of BC Shipping News, which features a freighter using a kite to reduce fuel consumption.

Inside: an environmentalist’s perspective on Crude Oil Tankers in Georgia Strait, written by the Georgia Strait Alliance’s Mike Richardson.