Chevron says it won’t reroute LNG pipeline around Unist’ot’en blockade
Read this Oct. 27 story from Mark Nielsen in the Prince George Citizen, on Chevron’s refusal to reroute its planned Pacific Trail Pipeline – designed to supply natural gas from northeast BC to its proposed LNG terminal in Kitimat – to avoid conflict with the Unist’ot’en Resistance Camp on the Morice River.
The Pacific Trail natural gas pipeline will not be rerouted around an area a First Nations group has been blockading, say backers of the project.
Instead, they hope to rely on “dialogue and discussion” to resolve the impasse, Chevron-Kitimat LNG spokeswoman Gillian Robinson said October 26.
If built, Pacific Trail would start at Summit Lake, 55 kilometres north of Prince George, and travel 480 kilometres to Kitimat, where it would supply natural gas for the Kitimat liquified natural gas plant.
TransCanada has said it is applying to shift 55 kilometres of its Coastal Gaslink Connector five kilometres to the north of its original route in the vicinity of the Morice River, southwest of Houston. That pipeline is intended to feed the LNG Canada export plant and would stretch 650 kilometres from Dawson Creek to Kitimat.
As they have for the past several years, the Unist’ot’en, a clan within the Wet’suwet’en Nation, set up camps and checkpoints this past summer near a bridge across the Morice River in opposition to any pipeline going through the area.
The Unist’ot’en position is at odds with the other clans within Wet’suwet’en as well as several other First Nations who see the projects as a way to provide jobs for their members.
“The current route we have for the Pacific Trail pipeline in that area has been chosen based on extensive consultations with First Nations over the past several years, including the office of the Wet’suwet’en, and the route we have now is the one that has been determined to be the safest and the most environmentally sound,” Robinson said.
Pacific Trail crews, meanwhile, wrapped up their work on the route for the summer earlier this month and the project’s temporary office in Houston has been closed down.
TransCanada is keeping both options open in terms of a final decision on which route to take.
“We are confident both routes could be built, and both options reflect TransCanada’s high standards and commitment to safety and environmental protection,” a spokesperson wrote in a statement to the Alaska Highway News. “We’ll decide on a final route after we’ve completed the regulatory process, and fully assessed both options.”