The purpose of the National Energy Board, like any regulator, is to be unprofitable. They perform unprofitable environmental assessments to make sure we have access to unprofitable clean drinking water and preserve unprofitable nature for unprofitable future generations. That’s because citizens value things beyond profits, and the National Energy Board represents citizens. In theory…
One of the last things the Harper government did before it launched the federal election was to appoint Steven Kelly, who is a consultant for Kinder Morgan, to the National Energy Board. This guy was paid to convince the government to approve the expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline. And now he’ll be part of the team that helps to decide if his own argument was convincing. If the pipeline review process was a cutest baby competition, we just hired the baby’s mom.
In fact, over half of NEB’s board members are pipeline mommies, a.k.a. oil industry professionals. Which is probably why the Kinder Morgan pipeline review processes has been widely condemned as a farce. The NEB refuses to take climate change into consideration in their review, even though scientists have made clear that more pipelines will lock us into a very hot, very grim future. But the fossil fuel industry, and their representatives in the NEB, are content to watch the world burn, as long as they can make money selling the matches.
There’s good evidence that the NEB no longer represents citizens and no longer works in the public interest. That could change before any more pipelines get built, depending on which Canadians are interested enough in their interests to vote on October 19th.
This video originally appeared in The Toronto Star.