The NEB Responds to my Questions

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1Broadcast on Cortes Community Radio (CKTZ, 89.5 FM), & Powell River Community Radio (CJMP, 90.1 FM)

“The NEB responds to my Questions” is an interview with Sarah Kiley of the National Energy Board.

Our conversation revolved around the NEB’s responses to the criticisms being levelled against them.

    • How has the nature of environmental assessments changed since 2010?
    • Did two of the three people carrying out the Review come from the oil industry?
    • Is it true they have no environmental background?
    • Why did the NEB not force Trans Mountain to answer more questions?
    • Is this the first time the NEB has not allowed cross examination?
    • What about the 15 month deadline imposed by Prime Minister Harper?

Listen carefully and you will find we are operating from very different perspectives.

At one point during the conversation Ms Kiley said, “Our goal is to look at this project and see if it can be built in a way that is safe and a way that protects the environment and if we are not absolutely convinced of that, we will not recommend the project.”

She also said that the NEB has very strict guidelines regarding the types of questions they can examine.

Rally against the proposed Kinder Morgan oil pipeline on Burnaby Mountain. Monday, November 17th, 2014 - Courtesy Mark Klotz, CC By SA, 2.0.
The woman holding up “the Pipeline ends Here” is Elsie Dean. Someone in Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion said, “She’s 90, our founder and a force of nature!” – photo  Courtesy Mark Klotz, CC By SA, 2.0.

The questions I believe are most important are not among them:

    • Do the people of British Columbia want this pipeline?
    • Do we need it?
    • Are the concerns of British Columbians to be regarded as being of less value than the interests of outside corporations?
    • Should the people of British Columbia be forced to accept a pipeline because an oil company wants to build it?

I can appreciate the fact these questions are outside of the National Energy Board’s mandate, but they need to be asked somewhere.

To proceed without answering these questions contradicts the meaning of the word democracy.

Links of Interest:

(Image at top of page: Concerned Onlookers while arrests were being made on Burnaby Mountain on Nov 20 – Courtesy Michael Klotz, CC By SA, 2.0)

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