Kinder Morgan Pipeline



Lukacs, Martin. “Indigenous rights 'serious obstacle' to Kinder Morgan pipeline, report says.” The Guardian, 16 Oct 2017,

This is a secondary source, as it is an online newspaper article pulling from other sources. It is a popular source, since it is a newspaper article, and therefore not peer-reviewed or governmentally approved. The construction of the Kinder Morgan Pipeline will be seriously opposed by First Nations groups, and the opposition will be effective due to the ownership of the land by the Secwepemc people. Though the original pipeline was built in 1951 because indigenous people were not allowed to organize legal action at the time, in 2017 the legality of the situation must be considered and can be questioned. Kinder Morgan, as a company, has not considered the rights of indigenous people, possible legal action against Kinder Morgan, or the ways that protests and activism will affect the pipeline’s construction. As such, their promises to financial backers have been delayed or falling through—backers were not properly and accurately informed of the situation. The Canadian federal government supports the pipeline, but the British Columbia provincial government opposes it.


“How the Kinder Morgan pipeline could impact Pacific salmon.” The Weather Network, 20 Jan 2018,

This is a secondary source, as it is an online article discussing information from other sources. It is a popular source, not peer-reviewed or governmentally approved. The Kinder Morgan Pipeline is set to cross many rivers, which is a potential danger to the animals living in that river, including Pacific salmon. The amount of sockeye salmon returning to spawn in the Fraser River, a main waterway the pipeline will cross, has decreased in recent years, and a pipeline spill is a threat to them. The effects of the crude oil the pipeline will carry, diluted bitumen (also called Dilbit) on sockeye salmon are being studied in laboratories. It has been discovered that exposure to Dilbit damages juvenile sockeye salmon’s heart tissue, making it more difficult to swim. Repeated exposure to Dilbit from leaks or spills would damage fish to the extent that they may not be able to return to the ocean. However, with low exposure and quick removal of the Dilbit, the salmon in the lab were not affected, so quick cleanup times could prevent the salmon in the wild from being damaged.



Bakx, Kyle and Johnson, Tracy. “What B.C. can and cannot do to stop the Kinder Morgan pipeline.” CBC, 31 May 2017,

This is a popular secondary source. Kinder Morgan is determined to see their pipeline through, as is the Albertan Premier, Rachel Notley. The federal government has approved this pipeline, and it would be extremely difficult to revoke that permission. However, the provincial government of British Columbia, opposed to the pipeline, can delay or impede its construction by denying the permits needed for construction, including ones for road access and using heavy equipment. Another way to impede the pipeline’s construction would be to order another environmental assessment, which, if it fails, would be grounds for the BC government to declare that Kinder Morgan has not met the conditions included in that environmental certificate and so there are times when the province must give its consent to pipeline-related activities. Historical court cases related to pipeline construction give a mixed precedent for fighting its construction. The pipeline is under federal jurisdiction, but one case ended with the pipeline stopped, the court ruling that the provincial government must do its own work, involving local First Nations bands and landowners and their own environmental assessment, instead of relying on the federal government for legal action with projects of this type.


McSheffrey, Elizabeth. “B.C. government takes first swing at stopping Kinder Morgan.” Observer Media Group, 10 Aug 2017,

This is a popular secondary source. The British Columbian provincial government is standing firm against this expansion of the oil industry for environmental and economic reasons. Kinder Morgan has made a statement declaring their intention to work with the province and its Aboriginal peoples to acquire the permits necessary for construction. Kinder Morgan’s construction has been blocked due to their environmental management plans not meeting standards, including consultation with First Nations. The BC government has plans to provide jobs in infrastructure and the tourist and marine harvest industries, to make up for the jobs that would be provided by the pipeline. The risk of the pipeline and an oil spill is both and economic and environmental risk that BC does not want to endure. Environmental advocates are pleased with the message that BC’s opposition sends and believe that this will be the start of a long battle to get the pipeline approved.



Fish and Wildlife Branch: Ministry of Environment. “What is the Role of First Nations in Sustainable Wildlife Management?”, THE WILDLIFE ACT: MANAGING FOR SUSTAINABILITY IN THE 21ST CENTURY DISCUSSION PAPER, Government of British Columbia, Mar 2007,

This is a governmental secondary online source. It discusses the role of the First Nations peoples in managing wildlife in a sustainable manner in accordance with the Wildlife Act while still respecting the traditional hunting/fishing rights of the First Nations and the cultural significance of hunting/fishing. Under the Wildlife Act, First Nations people who are registered as Indians under the Indian Act are allowed to, without a licence, trap fur-bearing animals, hunt wildlife, angle, and hunt animals on private land with the owner’s permission or on Crown land with the Crown’s permission. First Nations hunting, trapping, and fishing for food, ceremonial, and social purposes takes priority over non-First Nations use off wildlife. Efforts are being made to clarify communication of where First Nations hunters can hunt, due to differing interpretations of the limits of these hunting rights. There is also the matter of the lack of reporting the exact numbers of wildlife harvest, so the Ministry has to estimate the numbers to lay out restrictions on wildlife hunting for that time. Cooperation and further discussion would lead to better wildlife management.


Zussman, Richard. “B.C. government strikes another blow to stop Kinder Morgan pipeline.” Global News, 30 Jan 2018,

This is a secondary popular source. The British Columbian provincial government has recently announced their plan to put a limit on the amount of diluted bitumen allowed to be transported through pipelines or by rail. The Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline is meant to transport diluted bitumen, so this limit means that the pipeline would not be able to carry diluted bitumen. The government is starting a scientific panel to write a report about BC’s capabilities to clean up an oil spill. It has not yet been decided how the limit on diluted bitumen will be enforced. The BC Green Party and environmental advocates are very pleased with this announcement. However, Alberta’s Premier Rachel Notley is opposed to the idea and the possibility of losing thousands of potential jobs because of the BC government “playing political games” to delay the pipeline.





The Canadian Press, “Trans Mountain pipeline protest in Coquitlam, B.C., sees 2 arrested.” CBC, 8 Feb 2018,

This is a secondary popular source. Two people were arrested after a peaceful protest against the Trans Mountain Kinder Morgan pipeline in Coquitlam, BC. The protestors, nine in total, blocked highway traffic and construction equipment. The arrested protestors were a 23-year-old man, who was arrested but later released with no charges against him, and a 22-year-old woman who chained herself to a piece of equipment, who potentially faces a charge of mischief.


The Canadian Press, “Activists protest Trans Mountain outside Trudeau’s hotel in San Francisco.” CBC, 9 Feb 2018,

This is a secondary popular source. Climate change activists were protesting with signs and slogans outside Justin Trudeau’s hotel in San Francisco on February 9, 2018, during his meeting with California governor Jerry Brown. Three protestors got inside the hotel and protested directly outside the room where the politicians were meeting. Justin Trudeau still insists that the pipeline is what is best for Canada and that it will be built. Amanda Butterworth, a climate change activist and one of the protestors, says that Trudeau will have to back down on his approval of the pipeline is he wants to be a “true climate leader”.



“Pipeline transportation of oil and other liquid petroleum products, November 2017”, Statistics Canada, 19 Jan 2018,

This is a statistical governmental source. This is a recent report detailing statistics of oil transport. Pipelines received 21 400 000 m3 of Canadian crude oil from Canadian oil fields and plants in November, mostly from Alberta. 13 400 000 m3 of crude oil were exported through Canadian pipelines. At the end of the month, Canadian pipelines still held 12 300 000 m3 of crude oil, the same as in November of 2016.


Tindall, David B., and Joanna L. Robinson. “Collective Action to Save the Ancient Temperate Rainforest: Social Networks and Environmental Activism in Clayoquot Sound.” Ecology and Society, vol. 22, no. 1, 2017. JSTOR, JSTOR,

This is a peer-reviewed academic journal article, meaning it is a scholarly source. The mobilization of environmental activists in 1993 to protect the rainforests of Clayoquot Sound was the most visible in Canada’s history. This study concludes that social networks are more important that personal values in getting people to consistently participate in activism. Collective identity by being part of a movement also has much to do with ongoing activism. Many major participants in the Clayoquot protests have also joined the fight against pipeline expansions in North America, including the Northern Gateway Pipeline and the Trans Mountain pipeline, in an effort to fight against climate change. The Clayoquot protests were the beginning of a strong environmental activism in British Columbia, promoting inclusion of Aboriginal groups in such activism and policies affecting environmental decisions, and furthered the suggestion that connection within activist networks affects future activism, as social networks are formed and clout is gained through activist efforts.




Hoberg, George. “The Battle Over Oil Sands Access to Tidewater: A Political Risk Analysis of Pipeline Alternatives.” Canadian Public Policy / Analyse De Politiques, vol. 39, no. 3, 2013, pp. 371–391. JSTOR, JSTOR,

This source is a scholarly one, an article from an academic journal. Commercial access to Canada’s oil sands has become increasingly opposed since proposals for new pipelines have become more and more controversial. Veto points (a place where an authority can block the approval of a pipeline) for pipeline approval in Canada exist within the government, trade partnerships, and the law. The influence and actions that entities with a stake in the matter can have and make depends on the structure of the policy itself, and at what level the impact is made. This article argues that political risk can be seen as a function of five variables: the number of institutional veto points, whether opposing groups can access veto points, whether the project can take advantage of current infrastructure, the prominence of localized and widespread environmental risk, and the legal separation of risks and benefits. Because the oil sands are landlocked, Alberta (the largest proponent of the use of the oil sands for the economic benefit to the province and its people) needs cooperation from other groups to use them. The political risk arising from that is decided by the rules of the institution and the structure of the policy problem. The discussion of access to the oil sands and the politics and structures surrounding that relates to the battle over the Kinder Morgan pipeline and the power structures involved in its potential construction.


Chang, Stephanie E., et al. “Consequences of Oil Spills: a Review and Framework for Informing Planning.” Ecology and Society, vol. 19, no. 2, 2014. JSTOR, JSTOR,

This is an academic journal article, so it is a scholarly source. This article examines and breaks down the consequences of an oil spill from oil tankers and factors affecting an oil spill—there is a case study in the area of Vancouver, which is very topical as oil would be tanked out around Vancouver from the Kinder Morgan pipeline.

The consequences of oil spill are affected by the amount of oil spilled, the toxicity of the oil (different chemical makeups can be more or less harmful to different species), the duration of the spill, the depth the spill occurs at (which affects different species of plants and animals), the location of the spill (nearshore or offshore) and the overall extent of the oil spill. The disaster management response directly influences how severe the spill will be—sometimes the cleanup techniques can be more damaging than leaving the spill alone. Additionally, the physicality of the marine environment itself affects how long the oil will remain and how much it spreads.

Oil spills can impact human health and society. The health part is impacted through physical harm caused by the oil spill—eating seafood with bioaccumulated oil toxins, inhalation of crude oil, possible long-term health effects from volatile organic compounds used in oil transport, and psychological stress (over the impact to jobs, the environment, the influx of strangers for cleanup jobs, uneven promotions and other events that upset social hierarchies). This kind of social, psychological, and physical stress has a negative impact on community structure and economic activity.

Economic activity would be impacted from more demand on health services (from previously described needs), social instability, paying for cleanup and disaster management, the decline in revenue from the tourism industry, decline in revenue from fisheries and the aquaculture industry, and other sea- or port-based businesses and industries would suffer from the effects of an oil spill.

All of this outlines the consequences of an oil spill and what affects that, which is necessary for understanding the risks—environmental, social, and economic—that a spill from the Kinder Morgan pipeline poses.