'Seller' posts Trans Mountain pipeline on Craigslist

01 Junio, 2018, 02:18 | Author: Enrique Watson
  • Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau.					Canadian Press Patrick Doyle

Kinder Morgan Canada gave Ottawa until May 31 to come up with reassurances it could press ahead with plans to more than double the capacity of the existing pipeline amid efforts by British Columbia to block construction.

Construction on the 590,000-barrel-per-day expansion to the existing 300,000-bpd line, halted by Kinder Morgan in April, is to be restarted immediately in the wake of Tuesday's announcement of Ottawa's $4.5-billion purchase.

"It must be built and it will be built", Finance Minister Bill Morneau said.

In a statement, Kinder Morgan said that crews were on site to cleanup "medium crude blend" that had spilled from "station piping".

The pipeline connects oil sands facilities near Edmonton, Alberta, to tanks in Burnaby, near Vancouver on Canada's west coast.

Canada's oil sector has been stung in the past year as foreign energy companies retreated amid concerns about the environmental toll, high production costs and a risky regulatory regime.

If Canada takes on the project, Export Development Canada would finance it through a newly established Crown corporation - an approach officials say would help to defray B.C.'s threats of delay. It also aroused opposition from some Indigenous nations along the pipeline route.

Do you believe the Prime Minister will enforce the rule of law and begin actively constructing the Trans Mountain expansion project or are the Liberals simply buying political time at our expense? Climate-change activists saw it as an attempt to prop up the carbon-emitting oilsands industry.

January 27, 2016: The federal Liberal government says pipeline projects such as the Trans Mountain expansion will now be assessed in part on the greenhouse gas emissions produced in the extraction and processing of the oil they carry.

In theory, this compromise seemed doable.

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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.

So Ottawa has bought itself a pipeline that only succeeds economically if the Paris agreement fails.

For his part, Trudeau rejected the idea, accusing the Conservatives of raising "old news" because they were embarrassed that they couldn't get pipelines built when they were in government.

Companies that have already invested heavily in the oilsands will continue to mine bitumen at nearly any price in an effort to offset their fixed costs. Since then, the Keystone XL pipeline, which is meant to take heavy oil from Alberta to Texas, has been approved.

The move drew immediate criticism from both sides of the political spectrum, and could hurt Trudeau's popularity in the key British Columbia battleground in a 2019 federal election. Any money put toward construction would be converted into an equity stake in the federal project, she said.

But Atlantic Canadian proponents of the Energy East pipeline say the same reasoning used to justify Ottawa's investment in the Trans Mountain pipeline also applies to Energy East. We shall see if that works out.

May 15, 2017: The Federal Court of Appeal grants Notley's government intervener status in a lawsuit filed by municipalities and First Nations against the project. But he suggested Notley and Ottawa have tried to buy their way out of a problem which faces the same staunch resistance it did before.

The federal Liberals have described the Trans Mountain expansion as being in the national interest and have long vowed that the project will be completed.

Thomas Walkom is a Toronto-based columnist covering politics.



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