Kinder Morgan’s lawsuit against pipeline protesters is an affront to free speech and idealism
Pete McMartin, VANCOUVER SUN, NOVEMBER 4, 2014
You would think that, in the name of public relations, somebody at Kinder Morgan might take a clue from the company’s name to work on its image.
It could do with some “kinder.”
But no. Quite the opposite. In its clumsy handling of its proposed pipeline expansion to bring diluted Alberta bitumen to Vancouver, Kinder Morgan — through its pipeline subsidiary Trans Mountain Pipeline — has alienated the city of Burnaby, the city of Vancouver and, well, me, for one. As part of its survey work, it took down trees in a public park.
When the city of Burnaby tried to stop the work in the park, the company turned to the National Energy Board, which — no surprise this — overrode the city’s objections, which, Burnaby insists, the NEB did not have the jurisdictional power to do so. (The city is now appealing that decision.)
When protesters confronted Trans Mountain survey crews within the park, the company filed for an injunction against them and then, piling on, filed suit for damages against four individual protesters and a citizen’s group.
Even for Big Oil, the lawsuit seemed excessive. It’s one thing to protect one’s business interests; it’s altogether another thing to act like a bully. Continue reading