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Five Things: the next steps for getting the Trans Mountain project done

30 May, 2018, 20:10 | Author: Kristi Dunn
  • Elizabeth May

Trudeau spoke with Horgan "to confirm that the Government of Canada has reached a commercial agreement with Kinder Morgan in order to secure the timely completion of the... project", the statement said.

On Tuesday morning, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced that the federal government will buy the entire Trans Mountain pipeline, but protestors say this $4.5 billion deal is no big deal.

Notley held a jubilant news conference in front of the legislature in Edmonton after the federal government announced it is buying the 65-year-old oil pipeline from Alberta to the B.C. coast. "So, I guess the Kinder Morgan shareholders weren't willing to take the risk but the Canadian government has determined that taxpayers are willing to take the risk".

Environmental groups say the Canadian government's pipeline buyout is reckless and raises questions about the country's commitment to battling climate change.

The $4.5-billion purchase price does not cover the construction costs of building the new pipeline, however; Morneau refused to say what that cost may be.

A billion-dollar project that's unpopular in parts of Canada, amid concerns raised by indigenous groups sounds ... familiar.

Horgan said that makes some difference in the paramountcy of the federal government, but the case will continue.

In October, Indigenous and environmental groups began a lawsuit against the National Energy Board, Kinder Morgan and the federal government.

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To help attract a future buyer for the pipeline, Morneau said, the government plans to "extend the federal indemnity to protect any new owner from costs associated with politically motivated delays".

"When we are faced with an exceptional situation that puts jobs at risk, that puts our worldwide reputation on the line, our government is prepared to take action", Morneau told reporters.

The federal government and the Houston company were in talks for over a month about saving the project, which Kinder Morgan threatened to abandon as of Thursday unless federal officials remove political.

According to the Pipeline Safety Act, $1 billion in financial assurances for the existing pipeline was in place based on a $500-million parental guarantee from Kinder Morgan.

Back in Ottawa, Morneau told reporters construction on the project will resume this summer.

While the $3.5 billion Trans Mountain takeover keeps alive a project seen as critical to expanding markets for Canada's crude and improving the price oil-sands producers get paid, it also reveals how key infrastructure projects can be stymied by local opposition and regulatory hurdles.

The overwhelming majority of Canada's oil exports are sold to American refiners at a discount to global benchmarks, reducing fuel prices for American consumers and income for Canadian producers. The completed pipeline would transport almost 900,000 barrels of diluted bitumen a day, with the substance being controversial as little is known about its pollutant properties. "I encourage them to continue to express their disappointment within the rule of law", he said.

Notley said the federal takeover gives the project "federal Crown immunity", which casts doubt on B.C.'s reference case to test the province's jurisdiction. The much more ambitious Energy East project was abandoned by TransCanada Corp. amid outcry in Quebec - and no government move to save it.

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