Enbridge Inc. faces critics at Northern Gateway Joint Review Panel hearing: live blog

Enbridge Inc. will face tough questions from intervenors at the Northern Gateway Joint Review Panel's hearing in Edmonton this afternoon.

Among them are the Government of BC, the Alberta Federation of Labour, Ecojustice (representing ForestEthics Advocacy, Living Oceans Society and Raincoast Conservation Foundation) and various First Nations communities.

The proposed Northern Gateway pipeline involves constructing two pipelines approximately 1,170 km long carrying up to 525,000 barrels per day of diluted bitumen (dilbit) from Bruderheim, AB to Kitimat, BC. The other pipeline would carry 193,000 barrels of condensate per day east to Bruderheim.

Questions will center around issues such as the economic need for the Project, the potential impacts of the proposed Project on commercial interests and financial and tolling matters, according to a release.

The proceedings are being webcast live from 2 pm to 6 pm Mountain (MT), 1 pm-5 pm Pacific Standard (PST). Note: full transcripts are also available after the hearing at the official Joint Review Panel site hearings page.

17:58: Committee closes; will reconvene tomorrow morning at 09:30 MT.

17:57: Chahley: I can't believe how fast times goes when we're looking at these figures.

17:55: Five minutes remaining-- Chahley is asking detailed questions about figures used in the economic tables.

17:49: Now Chahley is fact-checking year-by-year the export numbers...

17:44: Riffling of pages as Chahley hones in on specific economic numbers on report.

17:38: Chahley confirms that those 17 additional modules are not listed. Mansell confirms.

17:37: Chahley asks where in the report Mansell lists these 17 modules. Mansell points to a brief note on page 37.

17:35: Mansell explains that his unique economic model is a framework that has input/output model at its center. It has 17 modules for oil sands, conventional oil and gas, electrical sources, demographic changes, population aging, migration. He has based his modelling on the Alberta economy, and applied nationally over time.

17:34: Chahley asks what else Mansell adjusted for, in addition to labour productivity. Mansell said loyalties are one factor. He flips through his reports for more factors.

17:34: Mansell says that labour productivity changes over time, otherwise there's an overestimate of employment impact.

17:33: Chahley is asking whether the modelling used is static, Mansell insists it's dynamic. Mansell said that "it's much more than simple application of static framework."

17:31: Now Mansell is talking about "varying impact year by year."

17:30: Chahley and Mansell do not seem to be on the same page on the economic modelling factors used to determine the economic impact of the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline.

17:23: Chahley asks further questions on economic impacts of pipeline year by year.

17:15: Chahley now referring to specific models listed in reports by expert witnesses.

17:11: Chahley: this panel has to look at the best interests of Canadians, and need to look at short, mid and long term impact of pipeline-- that's why she says she's spending so much time focusing on that aspect.

17:10: Pipeline is a long term investment-- 30 years is the approximate timeline for looking at economic modeling. (one of the expert witnesses)

17:06: Chahley gets blunt- says when you spend $5.5 billion on a pipeline, that's a shock to the economy, is it good or bad? Questions directly Mansell's economic modelling which shows the pipeline would be a positive gain for the Canadian economy.

17:02: Chahley still grilling Mansell about oil prices and productivity.

16:53: JRP back in session. Chahley dives right back into specific methodologies used in reports by Mansell.

16:39: Break called.

16:17: Chahley keeps pressing on whether refining crude oil is out of the question. Mansell denies it's out of the question.

16:09: Detailed questions about condensate prices (increase/decrease).

16:06: Confirmed (not clear who by the webcast).

16:05: Chahley asks whether Enbridge knows what Asian countries will do with condensate oil once it arrives.

16:00 Carruthers: Going into details of types of oil that can be used to move it through the pipeline system.

15:57: Chahley: Some of it is dilbit, some of it is synbit, how much of each will go through pipes will be determined by how much can be transported by rail, correct?

15:55: Chahley honing in on what specific types of dilbit and synbit will flow through the pipelines.

15:53: Carruthers: confirms that pipelines carry dilbit and synbit (50/50 blend of bitumen and synthetic crude oil).

15:51: Chahley now looking up shipment figures.

15:49: Priddle: Reminds Chahley that systems built as crude oil pipelines are now carrying several grades of crude oil and refined oil products.

15:48: Chahley: The problem with this pipeline is shipping away unproccessed resources if they were processed in Canada it would keep jobs in Canada.

15:40: Earnest won't answer that question.

15:39: Chahley: Enbridge's interests are for corporate bottom line, not for public interest. Asks whether expert witnesses whether they can agree on that.

15:34: Earnest still not answering clearly. Fischer said Enbridge has committed "substantial" amount of money-- close to $130 million to do an "analysis" of economic benefits.

15:29: Earnest dodges Chahley's questions about the economic benefits of the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline.

15:24: Chahley is going to question mostly about economic benefits of the pipeline.

15:19: Chahley asks whether Northern Gateway and the expert witnesses will accept that between 89 and 89 per cent of the benefits arrives is due to projected increase in oil prices?

15:17: Leanne Chahley from Alberta Federation of Labour begins presentation.

15:16: JRP back in session.

15:05: Alberta Federation of Labour requests five minute break.

15:04: Witnesses now available for questioning.

15:03: Carruthers: Northern Gateway should get approval, while addressing 'remaining concerns.'

14:59: Carruthers: Northern Gateway recognizes the importance of questions re: the Michigan oil spill.

14:55: Carruthers: "Create a framework that puts reconciliation over division, fact over rhetoric..."

14:55: Curruthers: Has taken note of concerns particularly in British Columbia. Starting today Enbridge will respond. It will through witness panel do their best through Joint Review Panel to demonstrate economic benefits as well as addressing concerns.

14:48: Curruthers confirms he is President of Enbridge Northern Gateway.

14:43: Going now into specifics of changes in reports authored by witnesses. None of the changes have a significant impact on their findings.

16:34: Further detailed questioning prices of crude oil.

14:54: Curruthers: Majority of those who have appeared before the panel have argued that projects should be refused.

14:53: Curruthers: compares Enbridge to Canadian National Railway.

14:52: Panel accepts witnesses as experts in these fields.

14:51: Moderator asks witnesses to be qualified as expert witnesses to the Board:

Mansell: expert on economics

Earnest: expert on petroleum refining and transportaion

Priddle: expert in enegry policy and regulations of pipelines on the National Energy Board

14:38: Now going into specific appendices on reports, going through each witness.

14:32: Continuing to confirm who wrote what report, and to confirm all evidence in reports as accurate.

14:30: Correction of minor errors on report.

14:25: Swearing in of expert witnesses, who wrote reports on Enbridge Northern Gateway: Dr.J. Ruitenbeek, Mr.Mark Anielski, Dr. Robert Mansell, John William Carruthers (president of Enbridge Northern Gateway), Paul William Fischer, Neil Earnest, Roland Priddle. Also present near the panel (not witnesses) Dr.Peter Eglington Mr.Murray Fraser, Drew Armstrong.

14:20: Panel moderator announces that members of the Joint Review Panel are not available for media interviews during breaks or after the hearing.

14:14: Reading of various intervenors and questioners.

14:00: Mountain Time (MT)- The hearing in Edmonton, AB begins.

Vancouver Observer, Tuesday September 4, 2012

Byline: Beth Hong (live blog)

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.