Saturday, 23 June, 2018

Canada to Buy Kinder Morgan Pipeline for $3.5 Billion

VOTE: Do you think Canada should pay for the Kinder Morgan pipeline? Canada to Buy Kinder Morgan Pipeline for $3.5 Billion
Sandra Phillips | 30 May, 2018, 05:37

The Liberal government announced on Tuesday that it has agreed to purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline and infrastructure related to the expansion project for $4.5 billion from Kinder Morgan.

Discussing the plan on Tuesday, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the government acted to remove political uncertainty and ensure the project goes forward as the summer construction season nears.

Kinder Morgan will proceed on twinning the pipeline while the sale is being finalized. Canada's Building Trades Unions lauded the "courage and vision" of the government and said Ottawa can expect to sell the pipeline in the future so that taxpayers won't lose out. "I think that is what has happened here".

Kean said the company would restart construction using federal government funds before the closing of the deal, expected late in the third quarter or early in the fourth quarter of 2018. He called for confidence to be restored in Canada.

The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association "is deeply concerned that the government needed to purchase the project for it to be built and to assert federal jurisdiction", the group's president and CEO, Chris Bloomer, said in a statement. "But we had private industry that was willing to do it".

An application for the pipeline was first made in 2013 by Texas-based Kinder Morgan to the National Energy Board.

She also accused Trudeau's government of writing a "blank cheque" for the pipeline's construction costs, which Kinder Morgan has previously pegged at $7.4 billion. "I'm quite certain that this will go down as an epic financial, economic boondoggle".

According to McLeod, the project should have been left in the private marketplace.

"They're not in business to exit assets", he said.

Alberta's oil industry has seen its attempts to have other pipeline projects built sunk by regulatory and political opposition, including cross-border projects such as Keystone XL, still stalled because of opposition in Nebraska and South Dakota. "Kinder Morgan has gotten rid of its assets, they are free and clear".

"There's billions of dollars risked here", he added. "That is wrong is so many ways".

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The industry group representing pipeline operators said it is "pleased" the project is moving forward, but seemed anxious about the implications of a government buyout of a private pipeline project.

The purchase includes the pipeline, pumping stations, and rights of way along the route.

Twenty-nine kilometres of the pipeline runs through Kamloops.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley cheered the news on Twitter.

Which brings the investment by Canadian taxpayers of $12 billion, which Morneau pointed out would not be carried as debt, but as assets in the "ownership of a crown corporation". We have met the deadline, " she tweeted.

Perhaps when the federal government is paying the bills, it will take B.C.'s stonewalling of Trans Mountain more seriously.

In British Columbia, Premier John Horgan said, "Tens of thousands of B.C.jobs depend on pristine coastal and inland waters".

Canada approved the project in November 2016, following an expanded environmental review process that included additional consultations with Indigenous communities and assessing the amount of additional emissions likely to result from additional production.

Morneau, the finance minister, called the deal to buy the pipeline a "a commercial agreement" and insisted that the Canadian government didn't intend to remain owner of the facility.

Canada loses $15 billion every year on the sale of oil because the USA remains its only export customer, resulting in a lower price, Trudeau argues. Besides Trans Mountain, it also owns crude-oil storage and rail terminals in Alberta, the Vancouver Wharves Terminal and the Cochin condensate pipeline system.

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