B.C. New Democratic Party leader Adrian Dix's criticism Monday of Kinder Morgan's proposed $5.4-billion oil pipeline marks the latest twist in an election campaign that, for the first time in B.C.'s modern history, has the oil-and-gas industry emerging as a centrepiece issue.
Dix, already opposed to Enbridge's $6.5-billion pipeline to Kitimat, stopped just short of condemning the Kinder Morgan plan to twin its existing line from Alberta to Burnaby. He has been under considerable pressure from the environmental movement to take a stand.
Elections fought on oil and gas were once confined almost exclusively to B.C.'s next-door neighbour. But the B.C. Liberals sought to make sure the industry would be top-of-mind when its throne speech and subsequent budget made clear they are betting their political survival on a rosy scenario created by $1 trillion in natural gas riches that the government says could be generated over 30 years.
Keystone XL critics said they amassed more than 1 million comments against the pipeline to carry oil from Canada, showing what they called grassroots opposition to the $5.3 billion project across six U.S. states.
Keystone will "contribute dramatically" to global warming and pose an "unacceptable risk to water," according to a letter posted on the website of environmental group 350.org that visitors can electronically sign and submit to the State Department, which is reviewing the comments.
The department collected comments through yesterday on its draft environmental analysis that is seen favoring project supporters. Keystone foes said the level of opposition should give President Barack Obama cover to reject TransCanada Corp. (TRP)'s pipeline, which is backed by oil companies and labor groups as a source of jobs and greater U.S. energy security.
The U.S. environment regulator on Monday said the State Department must take a harder look at climate and other impacts of the Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL oil sands pipeline before the Obama administration issues a final decision on the project.
The Environmental Protection Agency rated the State Department's 2,000-page March 1 draft review of the TransCanada Corp pipeline project as "insufficient," in a letter to department officials as a public comment period ended on Monday.
The agency's tough stance signals that unless the State Department addresses its concerns in a final review, it could create more hurdles for a $5.3 billion dollar project which has been pending for more than four years.
The federal Conservatives have decided to mark Earth Day this year, launching a long-promised portal for public access to sensitive environmental data from the oil sands.
Federal Environment Minister Peter Kent and his Alberta counterpart Diana McQueen will be at Carleton University in Ottawa on Monday to flick the switch and allow public scrutiny of new research measuring the quality and quantity of the land, air and water in the Athabasca region.
It's a contrast to the defensive stance the Conservatives have taken on Earth Days past. Last year, hundreds of thousands of people rallied in Montreal and other cities against Ottawa's changes to environmental oversight and its withdrawal from the Kyoto accord to cut emissions.
The head of a powerful congressional committee visited Mayflower Sunday to get a look at the community where a pipeline burst March 29th spilling thousands of barrels of crude oil.
As head of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Congressman Bill Shuster (R-Hollidaysburg) oversees the nation's pipeline system that includes the 20-inch Pegasus line that that flows through Central Arkansas.
"We'll figure out what happened and make sure they make corrections so it doesn't happen again," Shuster said, speaking of ExxonMobil which owns Pegasus.
Shuster was joined by fellow Republican Congressman Tim Griffin(R-Little Rock) for a tour of the spill site. The pair was accompanied by local leaders and federal investigators who are looking into what caused the spill.
Little Rock's Duncan Law Firm has filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of all property owners with a contractual easement on their property for ExxonMobil's Pegasus pipeline.
This is the second lawsuit in two weeks filed against the company over the oil spill that occurred March 29 in Mayflower.
In the first suit, filed April 5, two homeowners are seeking monetary relief for themselves and "all others similarly situated."
That suit lists two damage amounts: one asking for individual damages "in excess of $75,000" and the other "in aggregate" in excess of $5 million.
Arkansas's Attorney General says Exxon will not pay for the state's investigation into the spill.
Last week, Dustin McDaniel requested Exxon pay $4 million. McDaniel says the figure is consistent with federal law, and with requests made from gulf coast states following the Deepwater Horizon Disaster.
McDaniel says his office is discussing other options with Exxon.
Secretary of State John Kerry says he isn’t wading into the State Department’s review of the proposed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline.
At least not yet.
"I am staying as far away from that as I can now so that when the appropriate time comes to me, I am not getting information from any place I shouldn't be, and I am not getting engaged in the debate at a time that I shouldn't be," Kerry told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday.
Kerry noted the decision would ultimately come to him, but that until then the various steps of the review process aren't complete. "It is not ripe," he said.
Arkansas Republican Rep. Tim Griffin wrote a letter to Exxon Mobil’s CEO in support of relocating the Pegasus pipeline, which ruptured last month, citing concerns over the pipeline’s close proximity to state water supplies.
The letter was written in support of a resolution passed by the Central Arkansas Water utility requiring Exxon Mobil to relocate the pipeline, which spilled about 5,000 barrels of oil in Mayflower, Ark. recently.
Mayflower is located in the 2nd Congressional District in Arkansas, which is represented by Griffin.