Published: Thu, May 31, 2018
Science | By Joan Schultz

Canadian Government to Buy Contested Oil Sands Pipeline

Canadian Government to Buy Contested Oil Sands Pipeline

The Trans Mountain expansion has faced fierce opposition from environmental groups and some British Columbia First Nations and municipalities. "Horgan and the NDP continue to play politics with British Columbia's future, and this time it will cost us billions".

On news becoming public that the Canadian government will buy the pipeline, Kinder Morgan's stock price rose sharply by 2.36 per cent, suggesting investors believed the deal was good for the company.

The remaining 536 submitted permit applications are being reviewed. It's actually better for Kinder Morgan than it is for Canada.

All permits submitted must align with the 37 conditions outlined in the provincial environmental certificate, as well as the 157 conditions detailed in the National Energy Board's approval.

For now, the Canadian government will offer federal loan guarantees to ensure construction of the expansion continues through the 2018 season as part of the deal with the company, a unit of Houston-based Kinder Morgan Inc.

That sentiment was similar to what Moe said Tuesday in response to the federal government buying the pipeline. The pipeline carries oil and petroleum products from Alberta to the coast, and supporters argue expanding it is necessary to get Canadian oil to global markets.

The project has been in difficulty since British Columbia went to court to try to block it.

"We are absolutely shocked and appalled that Canada is willingly investing taxpayers" money in such a highly controversial fossil fuel expansion project, ' said Grand Chief Stewart Philip, president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, in an emailed statement. "That does not have anything to do with building the new pipeline and the estimates on that are anywhere from $7 [billion] to $14 billion, assuming it proceeds".

Morneau criticized the New Democratic Party (NDP) government in British Columbia for creating "political uncertainty" and making it hard for Kinder Morgan to proceed with the project.

"What has changed? We have a different proponent on the pipeline", said Moe. While he was pleased to see Bill C-48, the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act, pass through the House of Commons in early May, he said it took too long, and now they have to wait for the Senate to pass the bill.

The advocacy group, with around 20 core members, lists a number of reasons it opposes the project including a lack of federal consultation with First Nations, a lack of research on bitumen spills into B.C. waterways and its overall commercial viability.

The Alberta government responded with a short-lived ban on the import of B.C. wines, and the passing of Bill 12, legislation that would allow the Alberta government to "turn off the taps" for oil imports to B.C.

"I said to the prime minister that ownership of the project doesn't change my concerns", Horgan told CBC Radio.

Calgary-Nose Hill MP Michelle Rempel also attended the gathering in Calgary and says the fight is just starting over Trans Mountain. "It sets a precedent for any other midstream company that runs into opposition to their pipeline to "cry wolf" and get bailed out by the Canadian government".

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