Do you think Canada should pay for the Kinder Morgan pipeline?

30 May, 2018, 05:36 | Author: Grady King
  • Kinder Morgan reported the spill at its Darfield station around 5 a.m

Finance Minister Bill Morneau has proposed sacrificing Canadian taxpayers to bail out an uneconomic USA pipeline owned by former Enron executives.

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.

He said it threatens Canada's reputation as a safe place to invest, puts thousands of jobs at risk and holds back Canada's economic growth.

"There is a very strong business case for this pipeline", Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Bloomberg Television, saying the government takeover meant "a lot of the legal barriers and a lot of the challenge points actually disappear".

Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd. listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange on May 30 a year ago, luring investors with the promise of building the massive Trans Mountain expansion project.

If no new buyer is reached by July 22, Kinder Morgan will present the $4.5 billion offer from Canada to its shareholders for a vote before the end of July.

The operating pipeline, which ships up to 300,000 barrels a day to the Pacific Coast from Alberta, is valued by Royal Bank of Canada at $2.3-billion, or $7 a share of Kinder Morgan Canada.

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The deal for the bulk of the Canadian subsidiary of Texas-based Kinder Morgan Sale proceeds are about $12 per share after capital gains taxes, he said.

Trudeau also spoke with BC Premier John Horgan following today's pipeline decision.

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.

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. Steven J. Kean, the president of Kinder Morgan, called it a "great day for Canada, for our customers and for our employees".

The deal brings some certainty to an expansion project that has been on the rocks ever since B.C. went to court in hopes of blocking it, fearing the impact of a spill of diluted bitumen, the raw output from Alberta's oilsands.

The only studies that say the Trans Mountain pipeline will make money for the Canadian economy are reports paid for by Kinder Morgan.

Kean did not say why he made a decision to sell rather than absorb the risk of further delays. "We've been waiting to see from this federal government an unequivocal signaling that they support and prioritize the access to tidewater for Western Canadian oil, so we can start getting a better price for it for Canadians who own the resource".

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"When the pipeline spills like that on our land, if we don't mobilize and if we don't go there and if we don't show our presence, then they can continue to do this and get away with it", she said.

During the call, the federal government said Trudeau "reiterated" the federal government's jurisdiction over interprovincial pipelines, and noted that the Government of Canada "is confident that, with this agreement, it is upholding the trust Canadians have placed in the government".

Morneau has already unveiled the third option: leaving original project architect Kinder Morgan to handle construction, but covering any cost overruns incurred as a result of political interference.

"It does not change the course that the Government of British Columbia has been on", Horgan said.

Greenpeace Canada's Mike Hudema tweeted "Good-bye climate and Indigenous rights commitments Canada and hello Massive losses".

Canada's oil sector has been stung in the past year as foreign energy companies retreated amid concerns about the environmental toll, high production costs and a risky regulatory regime.

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