Friday, 19 October, 2018

Trudeau government to buy troubled Trans Mountain pipeline for $4.5 billion

Trudeau government to buy troubled Trans Mountain pipeline for $4.5 billion Trudeau government to buy troubled Trans Mountain pipeline for $4.5 billion
Sandra Phillips | 29 May, 2018, 19:31

The Trans Mountain project has "more certainty than ever before", Rachel Notley tweeted after the federal government announced it will buy the pipeline and all of Kinder Morgan's core Canadian assets for $4.5 billion.

"The parties have also agreed to work together to find a buyer for the pipeline and the project between now and July 22", said Kinder Morgan CEO Steve Kean in a conference call Tuesday. "This is yet another step in building an energy future with Canadians where the environment and economy go hand-in-hand", Jim Carr, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, said.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said that buying the existing pipeline and its planned expansion project, which will carry crude oil from landlocked Alberta to a port in the Vancouver area, is the only way to ensure the halted project gets built.

Morneau called it an "exceptional situation" that's in the national interest and said the government doesn't intend to be a long-term owner of the pipeline.

But many indigenous people see the 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) of new pipeline as a threat to their lands, echoing concerns raised by Native Americans about the Keystone XL project in the U.S. Many in Canada say it also raises broader environmental concerns by enabling increased development of the carbon-heavy oil sands.

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There has been intense opposition towards the project from environmental groups and some Indigenous communities in B.C.

Kean did not say why he chose to sell rather than absorb the risk of further delays to Trans Mountain.

"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.

The government was immediately slammed from all sides for its stunning move. "Worst of all, the cost and risk of a $7 billion project that was going to be willingly financed entirely by a private company will now be unnecessarily transferred onto the backs of Canadian taxpayers".

Several First Nations have alleged in court that Trudeau's approval of the project was not legal since the government failed in its constitutional duty to consult them. "We've agreed to a fair price for our shareholders and we've found a way forward for this national interest project".

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