Kinder Morgan said Sunday it is suspending all non-essential activities and related spending on its controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project that would nearly triple the flow of oil from Canada’s oil sands to the Pacific Coast.
Rob Gillies of The Associated Press had the story:
The company said its decision is based on the British Columbia government’s opposition to the project, which has also been the focus of sustained protests at Kinder Morgan’s marine terminal in Burnaby, British Columbia.
Kinder Morgan says it will consult with “various stakeholders” to try to reach an agreement by May 31 that might allow the project to proceed.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has insisted the project should be completed despite the angry protests and the British Columbia government’s continued battle against it in the courts.
The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion by the Canadian division of Texas-based Kinder Morgan would dramatically increase the number of oil tankers traveling the shared waters between Canada and Washington state. Trudeau approved the project in late 2016, saying it was in Canada’s best interest.
Kelsey Johnson of iPolitics.com reported that the delay puts the Canadian economy at risk:
The Government of British Columbia’s attempts to delay the construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is putting the “entire Canadian economy at risk,” Canada’s natural resource minister Jim Carr said Sunday – just hours after the company behind the project said it was putting the project on hold.
“The Government of Canada calls on Premier [John] Horgan and the B.C. government to end all threats of delay to the Trans Mountain Expansion,” Carr said. “His government’s actions stand to harm the entire Canadian economy. At a time of great global trade uncertainty, the importance of Canada’s role in the global energy market is bigger than individual projects and provinces.”
The project, Carr said, falls within the federal government’s jurisdiction. “We are determined to find a solution. With all our partners, we continue to consider all available options. As our Prime Minister has said, this pipeline will be built.”
Earlier Sunday, Kinder Morgan said it is suspending all non-essential activities and related spending on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.
Keith Gerein of The Edmonton Journal reported that the pipeline could be scraped entirely:
Though the project has the support of the Alberta and Saskatchewan governments, B.C.’s NDP Premier John Horgan — who took power last spring with backing from the province’s Green party — has vowed to use every tool at his disposal to block it.
That stance has helped to create “unquantifiable risk,” and it remains unclear if some of the province’s obstructive actions can succeed, the company said.
“Unfortunately B.C. has now been asserting broad jurisdiction and reiterating its intention to use that jurisdiction to stop the project,” the release said. “B.C.’s intention in that regard has been neither validated nor quashed, and the province has continued to threaten unspecified additional actions to prevent project success.”
Trudeau recently said during a trip to Fort McMurray that the pipeline would get built.