Canadian Government to Buy Contested Oil Sands Pipeline

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In an act of "immense moral cowardice" that once again betrays his expressed commitment to helping confront the global climate crisis, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Tuesday that his government will purchase Kinder Morgan's "climate-destroying" Trans Mountain pipeline for $4.5 billion.

The pipeline purchase would also transfer to the federal government all of the people involved in building the expansion, including project managers and construction workers.

Ottawa will seek a private sector buyer for the project, and is willing to extend federal indemnity to buffer the new owner from additional costs tied to politically motivated delays.

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. If none comes forward, only then will Kinder Morgan take Ottawa's $4.5-billion offer to its shareholders. The much more ambitious Energy East project was abandoned by TransCanada Corp. amid outcry in Quebec - and no government move to save it.

To do so, Canada will pay the pipeline's current owner, Kinder Morgan, $4.5 billion in Canadian dollars - about $3.5 billion in US currency.

Moe wants to know how the federal government, in partnership with Alberta, owning the project will change the B.C. government's continued opposition to the project.

Our premier says he will continue the fight in court against the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, regardless of who owns the project.

Notley said Tuesday she sees no need to turn off the oil taps to B.C. for the moment, but said she still has the law in her back pocket.

As co-chair of the Indigenous Advisory & Monitoring Committee, a committee to undertake the monitoring of the pipeline during and after construction, as well as elected chief of Cheam First Nation, which has signed mutual benefit deals and employment agreements, Chief Crey has a decidedly different viewpoint than some pipeline opponents.

"While these are exceptional circumstances, we are pleased that the Trans Mountain Expansion project will proceed, beginning this construction season", spokesperson Alita Fabiano said in a statement.

Kinder Morgan is going to start construction on the pipeline this summer, with Ottawa providing loan guarantees for any money the company spends on the endeavour between now and when the pipeline is sold.

"This is a bad day for British Columbia, because John Horgan has made a decision to kick the feds in the shins and now they're coming back with our tax dollars to fix the problem", he said. The purchase includes the pipeline, pumping stations, and rights of way along the route. Steven J. Kean, the president of Kinder Morgan, called it a "great day for Canada, for our customers and for our employees".

"This project alone, in the next 20 years, will put $46.7 billion into our federal and provincial coffers".

"My sense is, the people who supported me the last time, the vast majority would continue to support me", said Wilkinson, who is also parliamentary secretary to Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna.

As for the financial risks to Canadians of the federal government's pipeline purchase, Antweiler doesn't see many.

Alberta is making up to $2 billion available if needed to keep the project going, but Notley said it's "very possible" the province will never pay a cent of it. The B.C. government disputes that position, arguing the pipeline expansion poses an environmental threat.