Published: Fri, June 01, 2018
Science | By Michele Flores

Buying Kinder Morgan A Losing Gamble, Says Council of Canadians

Buying Kinder Morgan A Losing Gamble, Says Council of Canadians

Perhaps this is why I have heard an unprecedented level of outrage on the announcement that the Trudeau Liberal government is borrowing $4.5 billion to buy the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline this week.

And at least one Liberal backbencher is echoing that sentiment.

The B.C. government is carrying on with its reference case against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, Premier John Horgan told Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in an early-morning phone call Tuesday.

The Trans Mountain pipeline begins shipping oil with an initial capacity of 150,000 barrels per day.

The Conservatives were not alone in their thinking.

Energy East would have been a job-creation bonanza, expected to create nearly 3,720 jobs during the construction phase and 97 permanent jobs once the pipeline was built. However the questions raise a possible vulnerability for the Liberals in Atlantic Canada, a region where the party won all 32 seats in the last election.

January 12, 2016: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says in a written submission to the NEB that the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is in the best interests of both Alberta and Canada.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer vowed to make reviving Energy East a campaign issue and said he wouldn't put $4.5 billion on the table to get it done.

"To investors considering Canada as a place to build big, important, transformative projects like the Trans Mountain expansion, we want you to know that you have a partner in Ottawa", Morneau said.

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The company, a unit of Houston-based Kinder Morgan Inc, had stopped all non-essential work on the C$7.4 billion ($5.70 billion) project in April, citing permitting delays and political opposition in British Columbia, and said it would scrap the expansion unless the legal challenges are resolved by May 31.

He said the pipeline purchase provided the federal jurisdiction needed to overcome British Columbia's opposition, but gave no details of how this would work.

The deal brings some certainty to an expansion project that has been on the rocks ever since B.C. went to court in hopes of blocking it, fearing the impact of a spill of diluted bitumen, the raw output from Alberta's oilsands.

"There was a promise made, and obviously it's going to be a promise kept, that one way or another this pipeline would be built because it's in the national interest", Crey said.

Notley said Tuesday she sees no need to turn off the oil taps to B.C. for the moment, but said she still has the law in her back pocket.

The project will be worthwhile for the federal and Alberta governments even if it sells for less than it costs because it will improve access by oil producers to world markets, ensuring better prices that will translate into billions of dollars in corporate income taxes and oil royalties, he said.

Critics have suggested that the Prime Minister is buying his way out of a problem of his own making, while activists have promised this news will only increase protests and further fuel anti-pipeline sentiment.

More than 200 people, including two members of Parliament, have been arrested already at Kinder Morgan's oil tanker and terminal site in Burnaby, British Columbia. The government is buying the existing pipeline and the scheduled twinned pipeline expansion. "I'm saying I understand that people use non-violent civil disobedience".

"I'm absolutely not condemning it", he said.

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