Joy and fury as Albertans react to federal government’s pipeline purchase
Tues., May 29, 2018
EDMONTON—Business leaders in Sherwood Park, the launch point for Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline, rejoiced after the Canadian government announced Tuesday morning it will buy the pipeline from the oil giant.
“This is Ground Zero here, so obviously more volume means more production and more production means more jobs and more revenues for tax coffers municipally, provincially, federally,” said Todd Banks, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce in Sherwood Park, east of Edmonton.
“A lot more jobs can be created in Alberta because of it.”
Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr said at a news conference in Ottawa Tuesday that the federal government will buy the pipeline for $4.5 billion, not including construction costs.
The pipeline has faced several delays and been a topic of fiery debate.
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Mike Hudema, a campaigner with Greenpeace in Alberta, called the purchase a “reckless decision.”
“It’s unbelievable that the federal government would sink billions of dollars into a failing pipeline project and really leave the public on the hook for the costs,” Hudema said.
“This is a project that goes against the Prime Minister’s own commitments to climate action, his own commitments to Indigenous rights, his own commitments to ending fossil fuel subsidies.”
The pipeline still faces numerous lawsuits and ongoing protests.
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The federal government will take over the existing pipeline and its expansion, while Kinder Morgan will immediately start construction and the government will seek out investors to eventually take it over.
Kinder Morgan’s had pegged the pipeline expansion to Canada’s Pacific Coast at a cost of $7.4 billion.
The Alberta government has been a loud proponent of the pipeline, while the British Columbia government has vowed to stop it from being built.
In April, Kinder Morgan threatened to walk away from the project on May 31 if the federal government could not neutralize opposition from the B.C. government.
In early May, Alberta passed a bill giving Notley the authority to shut off the oil flow to B.C.
The B.C. government retaliated by suing Alberta and calling the bill “unconstitutional.”
More to come …
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