News Release: Interior Indian Bands want the Kinder Morgan Pipeline removed from their reserves unless trespass rectified
- From: Kaiulani Pyper [mailto:kpyper@...]
Sent: June-26-13 11:45 AM
Subject: News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 26, 2013
Interior Indian Bands want the Kinder Morgan Pipeline removed from their reserves unless trespass rectified
Nicola - Kamloops Region, British Columbia, Canada
The Tk'emlúps TE SECWéPEMC (Kamloops Indian Band) hosted a meeting for a number of First Nations in Kamloops last week to discuss the trespass of the Kinder Morgan oil pipelines on their reserves. Kinder Morgan, through its Trans Mountain subsidiaries, is applying to the National Energy Board to twin and/or upgrade their existing pipeline. But on these First Nation reserves the pipelines are in trespass - the permits (Indentures) for the easements were never transferred to a Kinder Morgan company and the original corporation that was granted the permits by the government no longer exists.
Therein lies the problem. How can a non-existent company transfer a permit for an easement? Kinder Morgan has been creative in getting around this, stating that the permits have survived numerous amalgamations as well as two sales and purchases applied for by Kinder Morgan and ordered by the National Energy Board. They apparently were "held in trust" by Terasen Gas, now FortisBC - a gas pipeline company. There is no document trail to prove this or approval by Indian Affairs for this. There is certainly no approval by the BC Utilities Commission, and non given by the First Nations, including Tk'emlúps (Kamloops). In fact, until the past year, even Fortis BC was unaware that they were trustees for a Kinder Morgan subsidiary and that they held a permit for an oil pipeline easement in trust for them.
We all know that Indian Reserves are held "in trust" by the Federal Government for "Indians". How then can a corporation be a trustee for an easement on lands for which Canada is already the trustee?
And further, how can FortisBC hold these permits- "in trust" for a corporation owned by Kinder Morgan? Are they trustees for a Kinder Morgan corporation?
Chief Shane Gottfriedson stated today "This is too convoluted - the Kinder Morgan people made this trust up so that they don't have to apply for a proper permit for their pipelines on our Kamloops IR#4. In the scheme of things it would cost them little to rectify this. A new permit would contain environmental safety standards. The old ones don't. These oil pipelines leak, as we saw last week near Kingsvale. We need safety standards, monitoring and enforcement built into new permits. Is that what they are really afraid of?"
The Chief added:
"Right now the NEB has neither the time nor the money to enforce the CSA safety standards. They count on whistle-blowers or step in when a leak or spill happens. That is too late in my books. Kinder Morgan is in trespass on my reserve. They haven't brushed over the pipeline in years. They only brush a road they built and use - and it is in trespass. Without Kinder Morgan applying for a permit on our reserve we will be forced to go to court."
That was the consensus of the First Nations attending the meeting in Kamloops.
For further comment:
Chief Shane Gottfriedson
(250) 828-9711 and (250) 318-8527
High resolution group photo available at http://www.ubcic.bc.ca/files/Images/Group_1.jpg
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