Burnaby takes aim at NEB's decision-making record

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["Burnaby analyzed 33 of the NEB's substantial rulings and found that 80 per cent of Kinder Morgan's motions were granted, in comparison to only four per cent of intervenors' motions." No bias here. Nothing to see, folks. *RON*]

Jennifer Moreau, Burnaby Now, 13 February 2015

The City of Burnaby is alleging the NEB's decision-making track record reflects a bias in favour of Kinder Morgan, but the board is stating that's not the case. Photograph By Photo submitted
The City of Burnaby is taking aim at the National Energy Board's track record of decisions, alleging the board has shown bias in favour of Kinder Morgan, the company proposing to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline.

The board, meanwhile, is defending its decisions as fair, thorough and rigorous.

Burnaby analyzed 33 of the NEB's substantial rulings and found that 80 per cent of Kinder Morgan's motions were granted, in comparison to only four per cent of intervenors' motions.

"The fact that the review process for this project is flawed and biased becomes clear when you look at National Energy Board decisions to date," said Mayor Derek Corrigan in a media statement. "The NEB is dominated by appointees from the oil industry. No one on the federal-government appointed, three-member review panel represents the interests of cities, companies and individuals who have serious and legitimate concerns about Kinder Morgan's $5.4-billion proposal."

However, Sarah Kiley, spokesperson for the NEB, said that's not the case.

"We are committed to a fair, thorough and rigorous review of this project," she wrote in an email to the NOW. "We review every motion and request that we receive on a case-by-case basis and make our decisions based on the facts and information that is placed before us. Our decisions are not based on the number of people for or against a particular ruling."

As for Burnaby's assertion the board is dominated by oil interests, Kiley said that's just incorrect.

"We have 13 board members - six permanent, seven temporary - with a range of experience in a variety of fields including law, engineering, the environment, economics and energy. However to say that the board is dominated by nominees from the oil industry is incorrect. In fact, two of the three panel members reviewing this application are career civil servants," she said.

The NEB's review process for the Trans Mountain expansion is roughly halfway complete. Kinder Morgan's responses to the second round of information requests from intervenors are due on Feb. 18. The City of Burnaby is one of hundreds of intervenors in the case.

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