|13. Mai 2016
|Enbridge beantragt Fristverlängerung für den Start der Baumaßnahmen des Northern Gateway Pipeline-Projektes und nennt erstmals First Nations, die das Projekt unterstützen
|Am 6. Mai hat der Enbridge-Konzern beim National Energy Board (NEB) eine Fristverlängerung um drei Jahre für den Start der Baumaßnahmen des Northern Gateway Pipeline-Projektes beantragt. Ursprünglich hatte das NEB vom Enbridge-Konzern bis Ende 2016 den Beginn der Baumaßnahmen gefordert, ansonsten würde die gesamte Genehmigung für den Bau dieses Projektes erlöschen. Angesichts des massiven Widerstandes gegen dieses Projekt und der zahlreichen juristischen Klagen gegen den Bau sah sich der Präsident von Northern Gateway, John Carruthers, jetzt zu diesem Antrag auf Fristverlängerung gezwungen.
Erstmals werden von Northern Gateway auch die First Nations-Gruppen genannt, die den Bau der Pipeline unterstützen und als Vertragspartner von den erwarteten Einnahmen mit profitieren würden: Die Métis Nation in BC, die Aseniwuche Winewak Nation, die Gitxan Nation sowie die Buffalo Lake Métis-Siedlung. Insgesamt sollen jetzt 31 Siedlungen bzw. Gemeinden entlang der Pipelineroute den Bau unterstützen. Es besteht die Gefahr, dass immer mehr First Nations oder einzelne Siedlungen sich von den finanziellen Versprechungen von Northern Gateway ködern lassen. Mit scheinbar lukrativen Gewinnbeteiligungs-Verträgen und immer noch mehr Geld treibt Northern Gateway einen tiefen Keil zwischen die First Nations und Métis entlang der Pipelineroute. Schon jetzt herrscht Streit und Zwietracht unter Gegnern und Befürwortern bei den First Nations und die unselige Entwicklung ist für Northern Gateway hoch willkommen.
Im National Observer vom 6. Mai (Unable to meet deadlines, Enbridge asks for NEB extension) schrieb Elizabeth McSheffrey: „ … Proponents of the controversial Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline have asked the National Energy Board (NEB) for a three-year extension on a clause requiring it to begin construction by the end of 2016. The request was filed on Friday morning in a joint statement between John Carruthers, president of Northern Gateway, and the pipeline's four Aboriginal Equity Partner Stewards, who say more time is needed to receive legal and regulatory certainty, and continue important conversations with local First Nations. The project was approved by the Harper government in June 2014, provided it meets 209 environmental, financial, and technical conditions, and starts breaking ground by December 31 this year.
More time to do ‘the right thing’
‘Northern Gateway has changed,’ Carruthers explained. ‘We are making progress and remain open to further changes. We believe this is the right course of action for Northern Gateway and the right thing to do as Canadians.’ Upon completion, the pipeline project would carry up to 525,000 barrels of oil sands crude per day between northern Alberta and the deep-water port of Kitimat, B.C. via 1,177 kilometres of brand new pipeline. The idea has sparked controversy since its inception — in order to build it, the proponent would plough through unceded Indigenous territory, precious whale and salmon habitat, and ultimately increase tanker traffic along the B.C. coast. It is the subject of a handful of court cases, and has been opposed by more than 100 Indigenous groups as signatories of the Save the Fraser Declaration against pipelines through traditional territories in the Fraser River watershed.
The project's Aboriginal Equity Partner Stewards however, took the opportunity to remind the public that not all First Nations stand opposed to Northern Gateway.
Indigenous support for the project
‘There is a misconception that there is no First Nations and Métis support for Northern Gateway,’ the group said in a press release. ‘This is not true. In fact, support for our project has grown from 26 to 31 communities over the past two years and is continuing to grow.’ The stewards — Bruce Dumont, President of the Métis Nation in B.C., David MacPhee, president of the Aseniwuche Winewak Nation, Hereditary Chief Elmer Derrick, of the Gitxsan Nation, and Elmer Ghostkeeper of the Buffalo Lake Métis Settlement — say their communities need the business and economic benefits of the project. The three-year extension will provide more time to make decisions on how best to protect the environment and traditional lifestyles. National Observer called Northern Gateway for further comment on whether the proponent was struggling to meet its 209 conditions, and required an extension for that reason as well, but was told by a spokesperson that no further comments would be issued outside of the press release.
During his election campaign last year, Prime Minister Trudeau promised the Northern Gateway ‘will not happen’ under his leadership, and more recently, pledge to create a tanker ban on B.C.'s northern coast that would in effect, kill the project. In a Bloomberg article published last week however, his government was caught waffling on these promises and would not confirm the project is dead.” (©Elizabeth McSheffrey, National Observer).
In der Presseerklärung von Northern Gateway vom 6. Mai heißt es:
“Statement from John Carruthers, President, Northern Gateway:
‘Northern Gateway believes projects like ours should be built with First Nations and Métis environmental stewardship, ownership, support and shared control. Based on collaboration with First Nations and Métis peoples we are building a project partnership in a way and on a scale that has never been done before. This is a true partnership between industry and First Nations and Métis peoples.
Northern Gateway has changed. We are making progress and remain open to further changes. We believe this is the right course of action for Northern Gateway and the right thing to do as Canadians. We know this process requires time and we are committed to getting it right.
Our priority is to continue to build respectful relationships with First Nations and Métis communities. From the beginning, Northern Gateway should have done a better job of building relationships with First Nations and Métis communities, particularly on the west coast of British Columbia. While we had the right intentions, we should have done a better job of listening and fostering these critical relationships and developing our plans together as true partners.’ …
Statement from the Aboriginal Equity Partner Stewards (Bruce Dumont, President, Métis Nation British Columbia; David MacPhee, President, Aseniwuche Winewak Nation; Chief Elmer Derrick, Gitxsan Nation Hereditary Chief; Elmer Ghostkeeper, Buffalo Lake Métis Settlement):
Today, as the Stewards of the 31 Aboriginal Equity Partners, we affirmed our support for the Northern Gateway Project and jointly signed the formal request to the National Energy Board for a sunset extension. This is the first time a project certificate holder has made a joint application to the National Energy Board with its First Nations and Métis partners. This is a reflection of the new partnership that we are building together.
The Aboriginal Equity Partners is a unique and historic partnership that establishes a new model for conducting natural resource development on our lands and traditional territories. We are owners of the project and are participating in Northern Gateway as equals. This ownership ensures environmental stewardship, shared control, and negotiated business and employment benefits. Collectively, our communities stand to benefit from more than $2 billion directly from this Project.
There is a misconception that there is no First Nations and Métis support for Northern Gateway. This is not true. In fact, support for our Project has grown from 26 to 31 communities over the past two years and is continuing to grow.
Our communities need the economic and business benefits that Northern Gateway can bring. We are focused on ensuring our communities benefit from this Project and are actively involved in Northern Gateway’s decision making so we can protect both the environment and our traditional way of life through direct environmental stewardship and monitoring. With our influence and guidance, Northern Gateway is changing and we are taking a leadership role. The process of change based on First Nations and Métis collaboration will continue.
Our goal is for Northern Gateway to help our young people to have a future where they can stay in their communities with training and work opportunities. We remain committed to Northern Gateway and the opportunities and responsibilities that come with our ownership. We also remain committed to working with our partners to ensure our environment is protected for future generations.”
Die Coastal First Nations haben die nötige Fristverlängerung bis zum Baubeginn von Northern Gateway, welche das NEB vermutlich aussprechen wird, scharf kritisiert. In der Erklärung der Coastal First Nations vom 6. Mai (Coastal First Nations say 3-year extension request by Enbridge must be rejected) heißt es:
„The Coastal First Nations says it is hypocritical of Enbridge to ask the National Energy Board (NEB) for a 3-year extension to increase First Nation support for its Northern Gateway Project.
Coastal First Nations Chair Kelly Russ said Enbridge has little support from BC First Nations. In fact, their letter requesting an extension makes it clear only one First Nation in BC has signed on with Enbridge. Without the NEB’s approval, Enbridge’s certificate will expire on December 31, 2016, unless construction of the pipeline or the Kitimat Terminal has commenced by that date. Russ said a 3-year extension until 2019 means that most of the studies submitted in Enbridge’s original application will be more than 10 years old. ‘They will no longer reflect the latest environmental conditions. This in unacceptable environmental assessment practice and the baseline studies must be redone and updated.’ No extension should be granted without a full examination of the work done by Enbridge over the past two years in meeting all the Approval Conditions and without an opportunity for the views of First Nations and other interested parties to be heard, he said. Conditions change and despite Enbridge's claims that the need for the Project is greater than ever, the drop in the price of oil makes the economics of the Project highly questionable, Russ said. He added that we fully expect the new federal government to honour its commitment to impose a crude oil tanker ban on the North and Central Coast and Haida Gwaii. ‘The risk of crude oil tankers on the North and Central Coast and Haida Gwaii is unacceptable to our members and no one has yet demonstrated how to clean up a spill of sinking bitumen.’”
Zur möglichen Verlegung des Endpunktes der Northern Gateway Pipeline von Kitimat nach Prince Rupert stellte Kelly Ross, Vorsitzender der Allianz der Coastal First Nations fest:
„Coastal First Nations say no to oil port alternatives for Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Project
The Coastal First Nations say it’s a waste of time and money for Enbridge or the Federal Government to consider moving the end point of the Northern Gateway Project. Coastal First Nations chair Kelly Russ said moving the end point of the Enbridge project from Kitimat to Prince Rupert or another port will not have any impact on how our communities view the project. ‘We remain firmly opposed to the project and are committed to ensuring that local economies and sensitive ecological areas are protected from impacts of an oil spill.’ Russ says it would be a mistake for the Liberal government to consider another port for Northern Gateway.
‘We had hoped that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s directive for a moratorium on oil tanker traffic on BC’s north coast put an end to Northern Gateway.’ Oil tankers in the Great Bear Sea are a threat to our cultures, environment and economy. ‘We will continue to protect our rights and the interests of future generations,’ he said. The Coastal First Nations has had a ban on oil tankers since March 2010.”