|The Government of B.C. announced new regulation this week banning the conversion of proposed natural gas pipelines being developed for LNG to carry oil or bitumen.
B.C. Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman announced the regulation. He says the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission will no longer be able to approve any such proposal. He says he hopes the new regulation will provide a level of certainty to British Columbians that new proposed pipelines being developed for B.C.’s LNG industry will only be used to transport natural gas. The regulation applies to six LNG pipelines currently proposed for B.C.
B.C. Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation John Rustad says the regulation addresses First Nation concerns. Many First Nations support natural gas pipelines but oppose new oil pipelines.
Chief Barry Nikal of the Moricetown Indian Band endorsed the new regulation. However, other First Nations leaders and the Opposition New Democrats say the regulation does not go far enough.
Doug Donaldson, the NDP MLA for Stikine, has introduced a private member’s bill that would enshrine in legislation a ban on converting natural gas pipelines to carry oil. Donaldson says legislation would provide more certainty because legislation is more difficult to change than regulation. Changing legislation would require debate and a vote in the B.C. legislature, while regulations can be changed by a simple order in council by the provincial government.