Feds keen to see Trans Mountain pipeline built

Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr says its the safest way to transport oil

Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr. (Canadian Press photo)

Canada will continue to produce oil and ship it across the country whether or not new pipelines are built, says the minister of natural resources says.

Building pipelines just means it can be shipped more safely, Jim Carr says in a recent interview with The Canadian Press.

Next week, Carr will play host to a major conference in Winnipeg looking at how Canada can and will adjust to a low-carbon energy world.

However, he says, even as Canada adapts to that new world, oil resources will be extracted and will continue to be shipped.

Getting more oil to the West Coast so it can be loaded on tankers and sold to China will be better for the country and getting it there on pipelines rather than rail cars is better for everyone, he says.

The federal government’s approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline is under a legal microscope this week as Indigenous and environmental groups and British Columbia cities argue the process was incomplete and failed to take into account the impact the pipeline could have on everything from killer whales to waterways.

The $7.4 billion pipeline project is being built by Trans Mountain, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan, to more than double the capacity of an existing line between Edmonton and Burnaby, B.C.

The federal Liberals gave the green light to the project last fall, after making changes to the review process that Carr said included more Indigenous engagement.

“We approved it because more than 15,000 jobs will be created,” Carr said. “We approved it because we don’t feel comfortable sending 99 per cent of our oil and gas exports to one country, the United States.”

Whether there was enough Indigenous engagement is one of the key questions that will be answered by a court case underway in B.C. this week.

Carr said the government remains keen to have the line built. He said the judge will decide whether it can proceed, but the government believed the project was in the national interest when it approved it last fall and still thinks so today.

“Nothing has changed that would alter our judgment on why it was approved,” Carr said.

Next week’s Generation Energy conference in Winnipeg is a key moment for Carr in his tenure as natural resources minister, as his mandate letter calls for the creation of a national energy strategy. That includes working on energy security and making it easier to produce and transmit cleaner energy across the country.

Carr said many key policies and solutions in Canada have come from similar conferences. He also said there is no battle between moving to a low-carbon economy and continuing to produce oil in Canada.

“There are examples around the world where the production and distribution of conventional sources go hand in hand with investment in renewable sources of energy and that’s happening more and more now in Canada,” he said.

-follow @mrabson on Twitter.

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

High winds cause havoc for sailors

RCMP assists boats with sail problems on Okanagan Lake

Late night confrontation between two men in Peachland

RCMP was called to the scene of a physcial encounter on Saturday evening where one man was injured

Kelowna hotel suffers water damage

Guests at the Royal Anne Hotel in Bernard were greeted by firefighters last night

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

Hodge: You can’t make this stuff up

Kelowna columnist with a story that proves in life, it’s never too late

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

Who is Curtis Sagmoen?

The Observer reveals what we know about the man attached to the Silver Creek property where human remains were found

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

First-place Warriors edge Caps, visit ‘Backs today

West Kelowna scores twice in 25 seconds early in third to overtake Cowichan Valley in BCHL action

Grab a book; thank your librarian

All libraries are cornerstones of their communities and we celebrate them during library month

Five decades of volunteering

Even though she is approaching 70, Merle kindred continues to volunteer around the world

Twarynski trick sends Rockets past ‘Hawks

Rockets end five-game winless streak with victory Friday over Portland

Vehicle leaves scene after striking lamp post

After hitting a lamp post on Springfield Road, a vehicle has left the scene

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Most Read