Canada unveils new pipeline safety measures ahead of new projects

Canada introduces new measures to strengthen pipeline safety, ahead of the development of new projects proposed to carry crude from Alberta's oil sands to coastal ports for export.

The new legislation will give Canada's National Energy Board more power to enforce compliance on safety and the authority to step in to lead spill response; also, companies now will be held liable up to C$1B (US$917M) for all spills or incidents on their lines, whether or not they are at-fault or negligent.

"The 'polluter pays' principle will be enshrined in law so that it is clear Canadian taxpayers are not expected to foot the bill in the event of a major oil spill," Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford says.

The government is trying to raise public support for new pipelines as it prepares to rule on Enbridge’s (ENB) Northern Gateway project and Kinder Morgan's (KMI, KMP) plan to expand its Trans Mountain pipeline, and TransCanada (TRP) has proposed a line to carry crude to refineries on the east coast.

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Comments (14)
  • searcher
    , contributor
    Comments (1681) | Send Message
    This is partially in response to the juvenile remarks from the BC municipality at the Pacific terminus.
    14 May 2014, 07:16 PM Reply Like
  • Peter Stevens
    , contributor
    Comments (366) | Send Message
    They just want their piece of the action.
    15 May 2014, 02:43 PM Reply Like
  • badbernanke
    , contributor
    Comments (395) | Send Message
    This is mainly in response to the fact that Canadians and First Nations have been opposing pipeline projects in Canada for years. It isn't a US only problem for pipeline builders.
    14 May 2014, 07:45 PM Reply Like
  • lorneb
    , contributor
    Comments (346) | Send Message
    The biggest push against pipelines in Canada is by so "called environmentalists". There also are legitimate environmentalists who have a belief that pipelines are necessary and will continue to be built but they want to ensure realistic, legitimate concerns are addressed and that proper safeguards are in place to mitigate as much as possible any foreseeable accident There is a strong belief that a lot of funding for the movement by the so called environmentalists and some natives is coming from outside Canada such as the Hollywood crowd among others who think they are going to save the world from big bad oil. Some natives the same as some others have an issue of money. Give me enough and I'll agree to anything but until I get all I can bleed the system for I'll use any argument I can to stall it. There have been polls indicating a high percentage of Canadians are in favour of pipelines. There as those who are in favour as long as it meets what they consider sensible safety parameters. In Canada the issue is not politics the way it is in the US. Get the political bs out of it in the US and I suspect we would see similar issues and approaches in both countries
    14 May 2014, 09:57 PM Reply Like
  • monmon
    , contributor
    Comments (13) | Send Message
    that's right strengthen the law(s) punish the polluter(s), send to jail and fine(s)dearly.
    14 May 2014, 08:17 PM Reply Like
  • Wilcoj
    , contributor
    Comments (57) | Send Message
    One should weigh the benefits versus the risks. In most cases whenever a hole is dug/drilled or minerals extracted there is some effect on the environment. However, in most cases the benefits out weigh these effects/risks. I suspect this is the case for these projects.
    14 May 2014, 08:24 PM Reply Like
  • bobby44
    , contributor
    Comments (502) | Send Message
    Federal regulations and NEB authority has modernizing for some years now. The old worked fine in the old days, but it is a new world with new issues and new technologies so it is about time.


    A look at the Texas gulf in recent years shows the need for updates in many jurisdictions.
    14 May 2014, 09:24 PM Reply Like
  • billnky
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
    this is a preemptive announcement by the government. it makes sense to do this before final approval of any project.
    14 May 2014, 09:55 PM Reply Like
  • Backlighting
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
    Another all-powerful, government example of producers having to get permission from men who produce nothing.
    14 May 2014, 11:27 PM Reply Like
  • surfgeezer
    , contributor
    Comments (10338) | Send Message
    LOL. You mean they the private owners of the surrounding land are being protected from the big oil just polluting and ruining their local lives, while most of the profits go out of area don't ya?


    Government is the arbitrator of how "rights" are balanced. Free markets do NOT do that, the biggest profit is the arbitrator in "free markets".
    17 May 2014, 01:53 AM Reply Like
  • jerrywengler
    , contributor
    Comments (657) | Send Message
    Interesting when you consider it alongside the interests of the man from Omaha and his ownership of the Santa Fe, and his likely purchase of a president to put the Keystone Pipeline on hold. I doubt that he and the president had the environment in mind. Maybe he can buy Canada also just to equal things out.
    14 May 2014, 11:52 PM Reply Like
  • Anasazi101
    , contributor
    Comments (3507) | Send Message
    Jumping on everyone from First Nations to Warren Buffet...Looks somewhat silly in many comments...


    I'm sure most of you would be the "first to squeal" if pipeline went through "your backyard"...Or even close-by.
    You, me, we all expect the Government to protect us and pay or fine anyone that employs unscrupulous methods, or pollutes.
    We bitch if they do, we bitch when they don't....Pick a side with conviction.


    If any have ever been in Third World or many Foreign Countries, you can bear witness to "unregulated pursuits of money or wealth"...And see what the poor or common people have left to their disposal or use.
    Especially as far as Pollution...!!
    long, KMP,KMR, coal, refiners and E/Ps(oil/gas).
    15 May 2014, 08:46 AM Reply Like
  • WestEndDividend
    , contributor
    Comments (207) | Send Message
    I support pipelines, and am Long KMI, KMR


    All I can say is "bravo". I live in Alberta, and the pipe companies are so stupid and greedy that they wouldn't sign on to an insurance fund to de-risk their operations and spread costs and liability around. Happy to see a government with some pragmatic sense make this end-run around these morons.


    Paying for your mistakes should be a conservative notion, not like all the lies and obfuscations surrounding the many recent spills in Alberta.


    Build the pipes, and let's hold people responsible for their actions. If the industry didn't accept spills as a cost of doing business (bad apples ruin the bunch) then the public would have no problems. As it is, the public is rightfully demanding some safeguards.
    15 May 2014, 05:15 PM Reply Like
  • surfgeezer
    , contributor
    Comments (10338) | Send Message
    Agree with WED. Would add I am long many pipelines. This should be a benefit for Endbridge also, and if it gets the pipelines built, a huge benefit for the E & P in Canada.
    17 May 2014, 02:01 AM Reply Like
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