Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr told reporters Wednesday that ongoing oil pipeline reviews will continue on as usual, despite a promise by the Liberal government to make the environmental assessment process more robust.
“They have not stopped,” Carr said. “The process continues.”
Ongoing National Energy Board reviews will continue for projects like the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion even though the Liberal party platform promised an immediate review of the process, saying the renewed assessments will “restore robust oversight and thorough environmental assessments” and “restore lost protections” resulting from weakened environmental laws under the Stephen Harper government.
Minister Carr indicated the National Energy Board review process will undergo a transition but until that time, project reviews will remain unchanged.
“There will be a transition as we amend the ways in which the National Energy Board goes about the process of evaluating these projects,” Minister Carr said, “and we will announce those changes as soon as we can, but the process continues.”
The announcement has some wondering what to make of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s assertion that a more robust process would apply to the to Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline.
In August, Dogwood Initiative’s Energy and Democracy Director Kai Nagata pressed Trudeau to confirm if an NEB overhaul would apply to the Kinder Morgan project.
“Yes. Yes,” Trudeau said. “It applies to existing projects, existing pipelines as well.”