Expert quits ‘rigged’ Trans Mountain oil pipeline review

Economist Robyn Allan calls National Energy Board biased, its decision 'predetermined' in favour of Kinder Morgan

Economist Robyn Allan has quit as intervenor in the Trans Mountain pipeline hearings

A prominent expert has withdrawn as an intervenor from the National Energy Board review of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion project to protest what she calls a broken system.

Robyn Allan, an economist and former ICBC president, quit in a strongly worded eight-page letter to the NEB outlining her concerns with the review and the board itself.

“The game is rigged,” she wrote. “We are being conned by the very agency entrusted to protect us.”

Among Allan’s criticisms is that the NEB is examining the project based only on Kinder Morgan’s applied for capacity of 540,000 barrels from the new pipeline, not its design capacity of 780,000 barrels, meaning the project is not undergoing proper scrutiny based on the full amount of oil it could carry, or risks associated with the existing pipeline.

That’s just one of a series of “biased” NEB decisions that Allan said have restricted the review’s scope in favour of Kinder Morgan and effectively minimized the analysis of project risks.

She said the outcome is “predetermined by a captured regulator” and that continuing to participate “endorses a broken system and enables the pretence of due process where none exists.”

Allan was also critical of the NEB refusal to allow oral cross-examination in the Trans Mountain project hearings.

“The fight to protect the Canadian public interest must be conducted in an open and transparent forum, where those who desire to participate, have a right and opportunity to do so.”

She said the NEB does not have the expertise or the will to understand issues that may “leave Canadians holding the bag when major or catastrophic events happen.”

Allan’s departure came as the City of Vancouver released a report it commissioned by a U.S. spill expert that argued the Trans Mountain application underestimated the threat to birds and other species if a major spill occurred near the mouth of the Fraser River.

“A major spill near the Fraser River estuary could kill more than 100,000 sea- and shorebirds,” the report concluded, adding that mass mortality “could result in cascading effects throughout the marine-dependent ecosystem.”

Just Posted

UPDATED: Prime minister talks housing in Maple Ridge

Trudeau speaks to rising cost of housing, pressures on young people.

Maple Ridge’s indoor pool redo in final months

Structural work done, with target opening to be late summer

Maple Ridge pair win HM in FBCW Literary Writes contest

Theme of the contest this year was Who is ‘The Other’

Maple Ridge magnetic hill defies the law of Newton

It is a stretch of road where cars roll uphill instead of down

Edmonton judge rules Omar Khadr’s sentence has expired

Eight-year sentence imposed in 2010 would have ended last October had Khadr remained in custody

5 to start your day

Trudeau boosts Tamara Taggart, a doctor accessed records of a woman pregnant with his baby, and more

VIDEO: Dramatic fire destroys Surrey home

A freelancer at the scene said occupants made it out of the Fraser Heights house safely

Woman wants Tofino to get a nude beach

“They may enjoy a surf and then walk around naked and just be free.”

Ice climbers scale Canada’s tallest waterfall on Vancouver Island

Ice climbers Chris Jensen, Will Gadd and Peter Hoang made history

New Coast Guard ship crashes into breakwater in Victoria

‘It is fairly unprecedented that it would happen’

Sparks fly as SUV speeds wrong way down Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

Most Read