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Behind the pipeline industry is a poorly...
Dave Core, CAEPLA's CEO and Director of...
By Shawn Regan/Writers On The Range
Not a day goes by without someone bemoaning the lack of public access to private lands in the West. Gone are the good old days, some say, when landowners welcomed visitors. Today, it often seems like there are "NO TRESPASSING" signs across every gate and orange paint on every fence post, blocking public access to hiking, fishing and other recreation opportunities on private lands.
Why are landowners so reluctant to provide public access? The problem might be that we just haven't figured out a simple and effective way to work with them. Knocking on doors to ask permission can be awkward and time-consuming, so many people avoid asking altogether. And while most of us treat other people's private property with respect, a feRead more »
I received a number of calls last week from landowners who have not received lease payments on oil/gas wells this year. The wells are still pumping but the landowners have not received their yearly payment in the mail nor have they had a visit from a land agent representing the company. A telephone call to the company has not gained results either, so I am told.
This is raising concerns, about industry bankruptcies and the potential for orphan wells and pipelines with no funding to clean up messes left behind. One concerned landowner, who has unpaid leases, has a company wanting to build another gathering line on his property and he is rightfully concerned about the future and companies walking away from their responsibilities.
He feels he cannot affordRead more »
New environmental rules for pipeline projects could be bad news for farmers.
Changes to the National Energy Board (NEB) pipeline approval process announced last month by the Trudeau Government do not bode well for farmers, ranchers, and other rural landowners.
Not that the NEB has ever been a friend to landowners.
But the changes - which include requiring the Board to consult even more intensely with First Nations governments, and to assess even more thoroughly the alleged carbon impact of every aspect of a project - promise to marginalize landowners like never before.
Nowhere do the changes recognize theRead more »
Landowners should be very nervous when Alberta and Manitoba NDP governments team up.
Brace yourselves, Prairie landowners.
The only two provincial NDP governments in the country are talking energy transport.
To nobody's surprise, the conversation is not about removing obstacles to pipeline projects.
It's about creating a western power grid to export Manitoba's hydroelectric power to a province that under Rachel Notley's NDP is phasing out the clean coal currently generating almost all of Alberta's electricity.
So Notley needs to come up with an affordable replacement for all the coal fired energy tRead more »
In the name of the environment, green activists put the lives and livelihood of farm families like yours at risk
In the name of pipeline safety and protecting the environment, anti pipeline environmental activists have...put pipeline safety and the environment at risk
Not only did the trespass, occupation and vandalism threaten pipeline safety and create potential for a leak or spill - the very things the activists fraudulently claim to oppose - the invasion put a fRead more »
Property rights are key to preserving the family farm.
It is with a sense of alarm but also encouragement that we are watching the progress - if you can call it that - of the Alberta NDP government's Bill 6.
Alarm, because we view the bill - which claims to be about farm worker safety - as yet another violation of the rights of farmers, ranchers, and other landowners.
Encouragement, because those same Alberta farmers and ranchers have risen up to defend their fundamental rights even as the Notley NDP pushes hard to close debate on Bill 6.
The Canadian Association of Energy and Pipeline Landowner Associations (CAEPLA) is a national grassroots property rights advocate with a special focus on safety and environmental issues arising from landowner dealiRead more »
And why industry needs to kick its expropriation addiction
And it is a crisis: when a resource based economy like Canada's can no longer effectively export a key product, that economy risks collapse.
When it comes to oil and gas Canadians can thank green activists, a compliant mainstream media, and pandering politicians for paralyzing the pipeline industry and preventing us from getting those products to market.
The impact of this insane self-imposed blockade is alrRead more »
By John Goudy
The National Energy Boad ("NEB") has just released its report into its investigation of various whistleblower allegations made against TransCanada PipeLines Limited (read the report here). I haven't read through the report in full, but I was drawn to the section dealing with inadequate cover over a pipeline. In its observations, the NEB notes that:
"Other than during the design and initial installation of the pipeline, CSA does not address requirements for maintaining the depth of coverage during the life of the pipeline. In a general sense, OPR section 6.5(1)(e) requires companies to: identify the hazards and potential hazardsRead more »
By Benjamin Sinclair
Of the highest-yielding stocks on the S&P/TSX 60, seven pay out more in dividends than they make in income. Two others - Potash Corporation of Corporation and National Bank of Canada - are making shareholders very nervous.
Oddly enough, the last name on the list is TransCanada Corporation (TSX:TRP)(NYSE:TRP), whose Keystone XL pipeline proposal was just rejected by U.S. president Barack Obama. As of this writing, TransCanada's dividend yields nearly 5 percent and could easily be your best dividend option on the TSX 60. We take a closer look below.
A stable business
Plummeting oil prices have not been helpful to TransCanada. As energy firms cut back on drilling, they need fewer pipRead more »
Court ruling does not bode well for property rights or democracy.
When it comes to energy transport projects, a British Columbia Supreme Court ruling this week confirms what CAEPLA has been saying for years, the National Energy Board (NEB) is itself supreme, and its decisions trump those of all other levels of government.
The case resolved around the eco-activist Mayor of Burnaby's use of that city's bylaws to obstruct Kinder Morgan's TransMountain pipeline expansion.
While it is not yet known whether Burnaby will appeal, the judicial reinfrocement of NEB power does not bode well for landowners.
The ruling is a clear denial ofRead more »
The next time you look up, you may see the latest safety tech embraced by pipeline companies...
Landowners are the pipeline industry's "first line of defense." It's a concept industry has long touted, and one CAEPLA wholeheartedly agrees with.
But farmers and ranchers are beginning to see some competition when it comes to just who - or what - constitutes energy transport's first line of defense. And it comes in the form of technology.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or drones as they are more commonly known, first became familliar to the public from their use by the military in places like Afghanistan.
But drone technology is increasingly being deployed closer to home. Many ranchers are using them to monitor herds, and pipeline companies are experiRead more »
Will Trudeau promote pipelines and make the NEB respect your property rights?
Canada's 42nd federal election is finally over.
Justin Trudeau is in with a majority and Stephen Harper, styled by some the "pipeline prime minister," is out.
CAEPLA of course is non-partisan but that won't stop us asking what you and pipeline landowners across the country are wondering right now: what will the Trudeau Liberal government mean for pipelines and property rights in Canada.
No new major pipeline projects were completed on Mr. Harper's nearly ten year watch, despite the moniker.
We already know PM-elect Trudeau is supportive of TransCanada's controversial and long delayed Keystone XL, the Canadian leg of which was completed with CAEPLA's assistRead more »
Respecting Property Rights and Partnering with Landowners Key to Getting Safe, Environmentally Friendly Pipelines Built.
Regina - Saskatchewan - December 17, 2015. The Canadian Association of Energy and Pipeline Landowner Associations (CAEPLA) is a national landowners' advocate focused on property rights and protecting landowner interest. With a quarter century experience dealing with industry, we speak on behalf of thousands of directly affected members providing analysis, negotiation and advocacy.
As we represent landowners directly affected by Energy East across Canada, instead of rushing to judgment, CAEPLA will take some time to review these changes and what they mean for directly affected landowners and the public.
CAEPLA Comments on the Proposed Updates for the NEB's Pipeline Damage Prevention Regulations Regarding the Pipeline Safety Act (Coming into force June 2016)
Fairness for landowners in government regulation of pipeline safety means two things. First, it means putting responsibility where it belongs - with the pipeline companies who have the inside knowledge and expertise to determine where and when their pipelines may be at risk. It is not fair to require pipeline landowners who do not have the inside knowledge of the condition and location of pipelines (including pipe integrity and depth of cover) to make the call on whether agricultural activities can be carried out over pipelines. And it is certainly not fair to expose those landowners to penal and monetary penalties in connection with having to make the call.
What is government good for? It's time to answer this question.
I read this editorial at the Globe and Mail's news service this morning.
After reading the article I realized that CAEPLA has been asking the same question about the Canadian Government's National Energy Board (NEB) and the many provincial Energy Regulators across Canada for years.
At the recent NEB Safety Forum (June 2nd and 3rd, 2015) I was asked to make a presentation on landowner issues concerning pipeline safety and I was asked to look to the future. As I look back at my remarks. I realize we simply responded in the same fashion and came to similar conclusions about the NEB as the Globe and Mail's Editors did in this editorial about government.
The NEB bureaucrats have simply compromised pipeline safety by creating "Goal Oriented Regulation" where safety is a goal rather than an expectation.
If property rights were respected, and landowners, private property owners were able to negotiate contracts disciplined by the courts, rather than bureaucrats, then the prescriptive covenants in those business contracts would enforce safety. Safety would then be an expectation.
This article in the Globe supports our historical and ongoing concerns with the NEB as explained in my presentation at the NEB Safety Forum.
"We are also witnessing the alienation of the public from the regulator with trust in the Board at an all time low. Regulators are seen either as serving industry, or government, or as being too remote or slow moving to address issues in a meaningful way."
"We need to depoliticize and 'debureaucratize' the process. We need to liberalize the system to provide landowners and industry the freedom to negotiate 'win-win' business agreements on a level playing field."
"We believe Enbridge's new working relationship with CAEPLA demonstrates a newfound respect for landowners' property rights and environmental stewardship, and signals a sincere commitment to safer pipelines."
"This is a trend that CAEPLA's member pipeline landowners are ready to embrace. We believe it will result in safer, more environmentally friendly pipelines."
On June 2nd and 3rd, the National Energy Board held a Pipeline Safety Forum. CAEPLA's CEO, Dave Core was invited to be on a panel to discuss Right of Way Issues and Solutions.
Other Members on the Panel were Pierre Lemieux, Union des producteurs agricoles du Quebec and Humphrey Banack from the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. Mr. Lemieux and Mr. Banack provided excellent coverage of landowner issues and the challenges of having pipelines "forced" on their land.
Mr. Core, from his years of experience dealing with pipeline landowner issues across Canada, provided a fresh perspective of the future and how respecting landowner property rights and resolving their legitimate issues addresses concerns for pipeline safety and the environment.
"I was helpfully advised by a nice person at the Board to please not come here to give a history lesson. I was reminded that there is a new team at the NEB now, a new chair, and a whole new attitude..."
Paul G. Vogel is a partner in the London law firm of Cohen Highley LLP. Paul contributes to Agrilaw, a syndicated column produced by the full service London law firm of Cohen Highley LLP. Paul G. Vogel practices in the area of commercial litigation and environmental law. Agrilaw is intended to provide information to farm operators on topics of interest and importance. The opinions expressed are not intended as legal advice. Before acting on any information contained in this column, readers should obtain legal advice with respect to their own particular circumstances and geographical area.
Farmers across Canada are becoming increasingly concerned about the introduction and spread of noxious weeds and other pathogens and the potentially disastrous consequences of these biosecurity risks for annual crop production. From clubroot in the West to soya bean cyst nematode in Eastern Canada, government agencies, producer organizations and farmers are all focused on controlling these biosecurity risks.
CAEPLA has been working hard on behalf of you, the landowner, to build bridges with industry.
Since reaching out formally to pipeline companies last year in pursuit of "win-win" business agreements that address your legitimate concerns in the way no regulator or green activist ever could, we are pleased to report some progress.
At this year's Enbridge Annual General Meeting, Enbridge CEO, Al Monaco, reported to Enbridge shareholders and its board of directors how the company has responded to CAEPLA's plea for constructive resolution of landowner issues. We include some excerpts from his comments down below.
Dave Core, CEO and Director of Federally Regulated Projects for CAEPLA, also took the opportunity to respond to Enbridge now working cooperatively, to move toward a more respectful, productive, and profitable relationship between industry and directly affected landowners. We also include his comments below.
Al Monaco's Remarks at Enbridge's AGM:
"…This is all to say that the energy landscape in North America has changed.
And we’re leading that change.
Here’s how Enbridge is approaching the business today."
Engaging Communities and Landowners
"First of all, the most important thing we emphasize – listen to what communities are saying!
We’re using that input to make our projects better.
It’s important for our staff, but that also applies to me as CEO.
Over the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to visit a number of communities.
It’s critical to build strong relationships with our landowners and communities – and through that, we build trust.
The value of constructive relationships is evident in our Line 3 Replacement Project.
I’d like to acknowledge the involvement of Mr. David Core the president of CAEPLA (Canadian Association of Energy and Pipeline Landowner Associations).
Dave is here today. He’s been at our Annual General Meeting before.
He does a good job of holding us to account, but also in finding solutions to make projects better.
In 2009, a key factor enabling construction of our Alberta Clipper pipeline was a landowner agreement we developed working with Dave and his membership.
More recently, Dave was instrumental in pioneering an environmental protection protocol with Enbridge to prevent the spread of club root.
In Q1 2015, we were successful in reaching an agreement – and support – for Line 3.
That collaboration is testament to the ability of both groups to find common ground."
Dave Core's Remarks at Enbridge's AGM:
I attended last year's annual meeting to plea for constructive resolution of landowner issues and suggest it was time to do business another way. Time to move away from regulatory processes in favor of "win-win" business agreements. Time to stop expropriating landowners and embrace us instead as business partners. And perhaps more importantantly, as public relations partners. Partnership with property owners will permit pipeline companies to win political and PR battles and earn the social license the public demands in order to get projects done. Why, because addressing landowner issues will make pipelines safer. Landowners can help ensure that.
As an owner of shares in a number of pipeline companies I attended other annual meetings to pitch these same ideas. In 2014 we began to sense a shift in attitude -- an evolution of thinking, if you will, coming from the executive suite at Enbridge.
So when we reached out to industry to propose new ways of doing things, we were pleased to find Mr. Monaco and his team reaching back. CAEPLA and Enbridge are now working cooperatively, to move toward a more respectful, productive, and profitable relationship between industry and directly affected landowners. And in just the last six months, CAEPLA landowners across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba negotiated and signed a settlement agreement, a business agreement with Enbridge on the proposed Line 3 Replacement Project. That agreement was unanimously supported by our landowner members.
In addition, CAEPLA has recently agreed to work with Enbridge to produce much needed research on the pressing issues of pipeline decommissioning and corrosion -- one benefit of which will be to help the company clear costly regulatory hurdles that delay construction.
Another benefit of the common ground we have found with Enbridge is the creation of a precedent setting Clubroot Biosecurity protocol sure to become the industry standard across Canada.
We believe Enbridge's new relationship with CAEPLA demonstrates a newfound respect for landowners' property rights and environmental stewardship, and signals a sincere commitment to safer pipelines.
CAEPLA has spent the better part of a quarter century advocating for these things on behalf of pipeline landowners. Landowners and their families live and work with pipelines 24/7/365 - safety for us has always been paramount - so who better to partner with in the promotion of new projects?
We are encouraged to see Enbridge acknowledge this and welcome the opportunity to work cooperatively.
Yet, many challenges remain. Important landowner issues still need to be addressed. But we are committed to working on these issues incrementally, one by one, to achieve 'win-win' business agreements. Business agreements that are not only good for landowners, but good for the bottom line and good for shareholders. Business agreements that are not only good for the company, but good for the public, for pipeline safety, and the environment.
We wish to congratulate the executive of this company for your forward thinking and your ability to adapt in a changing environment.
1) Ottawa's National Energy Board and its disposition towards landowners;
2) The Alberta Land Bills and the impact they will have on property rights, not just in Alberta, but even elsewhere in Canada (see what the CAEPLA SmartPig has to say about that in the letters section), and;
3) What to do when the landman comes calling.
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