Enbridge has withdrawn its application to build a controversial pipeline under the B.C. coast, in a move the company said was “deeply disappointing”.
Keystone XL, the controversial project to carry oil from Alberta’s oil sands to the Gulf of Mexico, is currently in talks with the Bipartisan Policy Center, an independent think tank.
But Enbridge had been preparing to take over the company’s application for an easement to build the 1,172-kilometre project, known as Line 3.
Enbridge said the company is “disappointed” in the decision.
The approval process for the pipeline, which Enbridge calls Line 3, has been in limbo since 2012, when the company began negotiations with the federal government.
The Bipac’s environmental review concluded that the project would have “no significant environmental impact” on B.N.C., the territory in which B.B.C.’s northernmost town, Bella Bella, is located.
But it noted that the pipeline would run through “tribal territory” and would cause “significant disruption to treaty rights.”
B.N., which has been granted sovereign rights over the territory since 1905, has long argued that it would be “an injustice” to the Banting Inuit and the surrounding Tsleil-Waututh First Nation to be responsible for the construction of Line 3 on their territory.
“The B.W.A. will continue to pursue all avenues to protect its territory and rights, including the application of eminent domain, to ensure that the route of Line 1 does not disrupt traditional cultural practices,” the Bancroft Institute said in a statement.
“We are pleased that the BTPC has decided to withdraw its application for Line 3.”
The BTPAC has also been critical of Enbridge’s plans to construct a 1,700-kilometer section of the pipeline that would run along the coastal B.P.
C’s northern shoreline and across the Bering Strait.
In its environmental assessment, the BDPC said the proposed pipeline would create “significant environmental and social impacts.”
The company has also come under fire from Indigenous leaders in northern B.A., including B.L.K.I.N.’s Chief John Aylmer, who has been campaigning to end the pipeline’s construction.
“They are going to be able to say, ‘Well, we have all the facts,’ and they will say, yes, they will build the pipeline and that’s how it is going to work,” Aylman said.
“But what is going on right now in northern Canada is a very real threat.”
Aylmer also pointed out that the Trans Mountain pipeline is a project that “is just going to create more pollution and it’s going to kill our wildlife, it’s a huge problem for B.K.”
I think it’s an injustice that our leaders don’t have any power to stop these projects, but if they are going for it, it would really help to have a collective voice.
“Bipac president John Coteau said he was disappointed by the withdrawal.”
We are disappointed in the BCPC’s decision to withdraw the application for a pipeline easement,” he said.
He added that the company has the right to appeal the decision, but the company will take a look at its options.”
Our pipeline will not have an adverse environmental impact, but it will also not have a direct impact on treaty rights.
And we are very much disappointed that they have decided to not appeal,” he told CBC News.
Aylman, however, said he expects to appeal to the Federal Court of Appeal.
The court will decide whether to hear the case.
A decision by the Boppac would also be an important setback for Enbridge.
The company has been under pressure from environmental groups to withdraw from the project.
In a letter to the province, environmental lawyer Paul Friesen wrote that while Enbridge would have been allowed to proceed with Line 3 if it had applied for an exemption, it has “never sought an exemption and it never intended to build this pipeline.”
Enbridge, he wrote, “never intended to move forward with the pipeline” because “it would be too expensive and risky for the province.”
Enbridge spokesman Peter Kessens said the application was withdrawn because of “significant adverse environmental and other issues.”
Kessens added that Enbridge “did not propose to build” the pipeline because the company believes it would have created a “significant” environmental impact.