Kinder Morgan Supsneds Non-Essential Spending on Trans Mountain Expansion

Kinder Morgan suspends work on its Trans Mountain expansion

Kinder Morgan Canada Limited (KML) has suspended all activities on its controversial Trans Mountain Pipeline until May 31  They made the announcement April 8, 2017.

The suspension covers all spending, and “non-essential” activity on its Trans Mountain Pipeline that would pump oil from the Alberta Oil Sands to British Columbia.  The statement issued by the company cites opposition from the province of British Columbia.  “The project has the support of the federal government and the provinces of Alberta, and Saskatchewan but faces the continued opposition from the government of British Columbia,” KML Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Steve Kean said.

British Columbia (B.C.) Premier John Horgan argues the federal government has not considered his province’s interests.  “The federal process failed to consider B.C.’s interests and the risk to our province.”  Horgan’s government has recently placed restrictions on the amounts bitumen that can travel via rail or pipeline.

Alberta is determined to see the pipeline built, even if it’s to be as an investor. “This pipeline will be built,” Premier Rachel Notley said in a statement.  The development has caused some hostilities between BC and Alberta.  United Conservative Party Leader (UCP) Jason Kenney suggested Tuesday that the federal government should block transfer payments if British Columbia continues to block the pipeline.  “Even a small financial backlash from Ottawa could imperil the province’s balanced budget,” he tweeted.  Federal transfers to BC accounted for approximately $8.9 billion or 17% of the province’s budget.

The federal government remains committed to the pipeline.  “This is a pipeline in the national interest, and it will get built,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in Quebec Monday.  National Resources Minister reaffirmed the stance Tuesday, following an emergency cabinet meeting.  “The Government of Canada believes that the Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline is in our national interest, which is why we approved the project and why we continue to stand by our decision,” he said in a statement.  The federal government is looking at all options which include financial penalties, and possible lawsuits. Finance Minister Bill Morneau is scheduled to meet with Notley today.

The proposed pipeline is planned to run between Edmonton Alberta, and Burnaby British Columbia.  It would carry 890,000 barrels/ day.