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Canadian Energy Pipeline Association to lobby B.C. government on endangered caribou plans

The industry organization, whose members operate 119,000 kilometres of pipeline in Canada, intends to lobby ministers and the Premier as province delays rules for species at risk

The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) plans to lobby the B.C. government on a slew of issues ranging from Indigenous rights and LNG to recovery plans for endangered caribou, according to a lobbyist registration filed April 24.

Rob Beamish, executive director of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association foundation and in-house lobbyist, intends to meet with Premier John Horgan, Energy Minister Michelle Mungall and Scott Fraser, minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, among other elected officials.

In its registration, the association indicates lobbying activities will include the “Southern Mountain Caribou Protection Strategy.”

Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, whose members include Enbridge Pipelines Inc., TransCanada Pipelines Ltd. and Trans Mountain Corporation, operates 119,000 kilometres of pipeline in Canada.

The association further states it intends to arrange meetings with Environment Minister George Heyman and Doug Donaldson, minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, to discuss issues and policies related to pipeline development and the environment, including plans to protect mountain and boreal caribou.

The lobbying registration provides no further details.

The pipeline association, when contacted by The Narwhal, said no one was available to comment.

Two B.C. caribou herds declared extinct in 2019

In March, the B.C. government released two draft agreements aimed at protecting highly endangered southern mountain caribou.

Almost 30 of B.C.’s 52 surviving caribou herds are at risk of local extinction, and a dozen of those herds now have fewer than 25 animals. Two herds in the Kootenay region were declared locally extinct early this year.

The proposed caribou agreements have spawned misinformation and a racist backlash in northern B.C.

Caribou protection plan spawns racist backlash in northeast B.C.

The on-going controversy appears to have been a contributing factor to Horgan’s statement last week that legislation to protect the province’s 1,800 species at-risk is no longer on the table for 2020, as the government had promised.

“There’s no significant species at risk legislation on the docket for the foreseeable future here in B.C.,” Horgan told reporters.

Headquartered in Calgary, CEPA members move 97 per cent of Canada’s daily crude oil and natural gas from producing regions to markets throughout North America.

They also operate approximately 14,000 kilometres of pipelines in the U.S., moving about 1.2 billion barrels of liquid petroleum products and 5.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas each year in both countries.

On the subject of Aboriginal affairs, Beamish intends to engage in discussions with Fraser and his deputy minister Doug Caul on a variety of topics, including job skills and training initiatives, Indigenous consultation processes and the implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

B.C. has committed to upholding the UN declaration, which states that resource projects must have the “free, prior and informed consent” of Indigenous peoples.

On the energy file, the pipeline association intends to lobby Horgan and his staff and Mungall and her staff, as well as the Oil and Gas Commission, “to discuss pipeline issues in B.C.”

According to the lobbyist registration, the group will update ministers and their staff on pipeline industry initiatives that include land-based and marine spill responses, methane emissions regulations, revitalization of the provincial Environmental Assessment Act, the LNG value chain, and market access and regulatory reform issues.

The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association foundation includes both pipeline operators and various companies in the supply chain, including engineers, contractors, manufacturers, and legal, land and environmental service companies.

According to its website, the foundation aims to improve pipeline safety, environmental protection and industry performance.

The pipeline association has two additional active lobbyist registrations in B.C. — both for lobbyists with the national public relations firm Global Public Affairs.

Global offers “full integrated public affairs campaigns” for organizations “looking to persuade people and governments to create the support they need for a winning outcome.”

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Sarah Cox is an award-winning author and journalist based in Victoria, B.C. She got her start in journalism at UBC’s…

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