Thursday, 21 June, 2018

Alberta premier cheers pipeline purchase; opponents express concern, caution

Quebecers gathered to protest the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline in Montreal on Sunday Canada purchases Trans Mountain pipeline project for $4.5B
Elsie Buchanan | 30 May, 2018, 11:18

Hours earlier, the federal Liberal government revealed that it will spend $4.5 billion to buy Trans Mountain and all of Kinder Morgan Canada's core assets.

The deal will result in each Kinder Morgan Canada shareholder receiving $12 per share after capital gains tax - roughly 75 per cent of the company's share price.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau told media that the next step will be to sell it off to the highest bidder once market conditions allow.

The government does not intend to be the long-term owner of the pipeline, however, and has already begun speaking with interested parties about transferring ownership later on.

Export Development Canada will finance the purchase, which includes the pipeline, pumping stations and rights of way along the route between Edmonton and Vancouver, as well as the marine terminal in Burnaby, B.C., where oil is loaded onto tankers for export.

Will George, a spokesman for the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation, which has led resistance to the project, said the federal takeover guarantees a broader coalition of opposition in the coming months.

If the federal government took just $9 billion from its proposed $20-billion bailout for Kinder Morgan, it could fund three partial upgraders in Alberta capable of upgrading 300,000 barrels of bitumen a day.

"Any climate change plan that ignores the needs of working people is doomed to fail", Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said after the deal was announced.

Because instead of having the private sector do it, Canadian taxpayers are now the owners of the Trans Mountain, for an initial outlay of $4.5 billion, with the final cost likely to be around $7.5 billion.

Prime Minister Trudeau has said the Trans Mountain expansion is vitally important for Canada, a project of strategic interest and a major job creator.

No end in sight as fuel price surges for 13th day
Petrol and diesel prices were hiked for straight 14th day on Sunday pushing prices of fuel to a new record high. Simply passing on higher prices to consumers will certainly hurt its prospects in the election next year.


Kinder Morgan last month gave Ottawa an ultimatum: Chairman Steve Kean said the company would suspend all work on the expansion project entirely if the legal issues surrounding it can not be resolved by May 31, adding that it would not continue risking shareholder funds on the project unless the clouds over it clear.

The Alberta government has agreed to cover any unexpected costs that arise during construction.

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.

"The federal government have overpaid for an aging asset that has huge integrity problems".

What's more, a poll in April found that a growing number and a majority of British Columbians actually support the pipeline project.

Her tweet also stated "this project has more certainty than ever before".

Federal Conservative party leader Andrew Scheer fired at Trudeau, calling the purchase an admittance by the prime minister that he "has failed Canadian energy sector works and investors". With plans to renew construction activity this summer, the protest movement around this pipeline promises to be heated.

"He had an opportunity to walk away from pipeline politics and get on with the real work of leading Canada, and the world, in a 100 per cent renewable energy revolution, but instead he's opted to ignore science, Indigenous rights and the voices of people across Canada and bailed out a risky, unwanted pipeline with public money".

Veteran B.C. NDP MP Nathan Cullen suggested Ottawa was prioritizing a pipeline over safe drinking water for Indigenous children on reserves.

Canada only has two options for selling that oil.

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