Province Intends to Regulate "No Oil" in Pacific Trail Pipeline - Chevron-Apache Support
MORICETOWN, BC, Aug. 13, 2014 /CNW/ - Moricetown Indian Band Chief and Council and members of the Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs have secured commitments from officials of the Province of British Columbia, Chevron Canada Limited, Apache Canada Ltd., and the First Nations Group Limited Partnership (FNLP) that no oil will be transported in the proposed natural gas Pacific Trail Pipeline (PTP) Project owned by Chevron and Apache.
The commitments were made during negotiations underway regarding Moricetown Indian Band's possible entry into the FNLP. The FNLP is a partnership of 15 First Nations dedicated to assuring that First Nations along the proposed route of the PTP benefit substantially from the Project, and that the Project only proceeds in a responsible manner that fully protects the interests of all parties and the environment.
"Before Moricetown considers joining the FNLP, we must be assured no oil will be carried in the Pacific Trail Pipeline," said Barry Nikal, Chief Councillor, Moricetown Indian Band. "With the Province's promise to establish regulation to prevent this from happening, we are prepared to continue to discuss the possibility of joining the FNLP."
Members of the Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs were invited to observe the ongoing discussions between the Moricetown Band and PTP parties.
"Members of the Hereditary Chiefs are here to make sure the land and water is protected, our people's voices are heard, and that no oil pipeline will come through Wet'suwet'en territory," said Ron Mitchell, Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chief Hagwilnegh.
To ensure the "no oil" commitment is upheld, the Province intends to establish a regulation preventing natural gas pipelines for LNG projects from being converted to oil or crude bitumen pipelines. The details of the regulation will be developed this fall through ongoing consultation with Moricetown Indian Band and the Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Leadership.
"The Province has given written assurance that we intend to prohibit oil from being transported in natural gas pipelines used for LNG projects," said Rich Coleman, B.C. Minister of Natural Gas Development and Deputy Premier.
Chevron Canada and Apache Canada are in agreement. "The Pacific Trail Pipeline is designed specifically to transport natural gas to the Kitimat LNG facility at Bish Cove. As the pipeline operator, Chevron has listened to the concerns of the Moricetown Indian Band and the Wet'suwet'en people, and are pleased to work towards the mutual goal of building a pipeline that above all protects people and the environment," said Jeff Lehrmann, President, Chevron Canada Limited.
The Chevron-Apache commitment strengthens the "no conversion to oil" clause in the FNLP Agreement by including an amendment to further stipulate that no oil will ever be transported by the PTP unless approved and unanimously supported by the FNLP members. This commitment would be binding on any future owners of the Project.
"We are pleased the Province intends to uphold the 'no oil' requirement in both regulation and an agreement, and that negotiations will continue towards Moricetown Indian Band's entry into the FNLP," said Bob Rae, Chairman of the FNLP.
"Through the FNLP, Moricetown will realize significant commercial and economic benefits to move beyond federal Indian Act dependency," said Chief Nikal. "As the needs of the community grow and federal government funding shrinks, the need to build a sustainable economy to achieve self-determination increases.
"At the same time, our environmental and cultural concerns remain a top priority," said Chief Nikal. "Standing with Hereditary Chiefs, we will ensure that respect for the land, vitality of traditional cultural values, protection of rights and title, economic self-determination, and a sustainable future for our people are upheld to the highest Wet'suwet'en standards."
SOURCE Moricetown Indian Band
Image with caption: "Moricetown Indian Band (CNW Group/Moricetown Indian Band)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140813_C1254_PHOTO_EN_4820.jpgFor further information: Trevor Jang, Communications Coordinator, Moricetown Band, 250-847-2133 (Office), 250-631-7873 (Cell), firstname.lastname@example.org