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Vancouver formally opposes Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – It’s official. Vancouver City Council has voted in favour of a motion to oppose Kinder Morgan‘s proposed pipeline expansion through Burrard Inlet.

Mayor Gregor Robertson says Vancouver’s economy is partially based on its natural beauty and its ability to sell its image on the world stage. He believes a massive oil spill would be too costly.

“Vancouver’s economy does depend on tens of thousands of jobs that rely on a clean environment and an international brand that attacks many visitors and immigrants.”

The only city councillor to oppose the motion was George Affleck. He said the city should be in full consultations with Kinder Morgan and council should trust Ottawa’s review process before making a decision.

Mayor Robertson had a few words for Affleck.

“Criticizing the rest of council for the work that we have done to be briefed on this subject and the importance of taking a leadership position representing the present and future of our city economically and environmentally is critical.”

Earlier this week, the Vancouver Park Board voted to oppose expanding the pipeline. NDP leader Adrian Dix says there are questions around environmental risk and energy and economics of the pipeline, but he is waiting for Kinder Morgan’s proposal before making a decision.

Kinder Morgan hopes to increase the amount of crude oil being shipped out of Burrard Inlet to 850,000 barrels a day from 300,000.

The company says it’s working to complete an economic/environmental study to see what the local benefits are.

In an email to News1130, the company says last year it paid $21-million in municipal property taxes in BC. If an expansion goes ahead, it will expect to pay $37-million.

Kinder Morgan also states there will be a modest increase in its permanent staffing levels as a result.