VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and seven other BC mayors are blasting the National Energy Board (NEB) for making a major decision about Kinder Morgan’s capacity to sell oil to offshore buyers, without consulting coastal communities.

Before, Kinder Morgan had only been able to sell 50,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) on a month-by-month basis, but now 54,000 bpd of its 79,000 bpd maximum can be sold to offshore buyers under 10-year contracts.

Robertson and the other mayors are worried the.profits will pave the way for the twinning of the Trans Mountain pipeline, and potentially bring hundreds more tankers to Burrard Inlet per year.

The mayors had asked the NEB earlier this year to have public hearings in coastal communities before giving the energy giant the contracts to pipe more oil from Edmonton to Burnaby.

“It’s discouraging to see this decision happen without any regard to the cities impacted and the coastal communities,” Robertson says.

Robertson and other leaders opposed – including the mayors of Burnaby, Victoria and the Islands Trust, a federation of local governments covering most of the Gulf Islands – have sent a letter to the National Energy Board calling for consultation in future decisions.

“We’ve signed this letter as mayors on the coast here,” Robertson says. “We are looking at our options with regard to the next steps the National Energy Board takes on this pipeline process. There may be another opportunity to participate before there are changes of made. I’m hopeful of that.”

A Mustel poll released in October found only 31 per cent of British Columbians support the twinning of the Trans Mountain pipeline.