Pipeline Politics: Kinder Morgan’s Losses Could Be Covered by Liberals
The pressure is being turned up in the standoff that has Alberta and B.C. premiers, the federal government, and some First Nations groups in B.C. fight over oil.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau has now announced that the federal government is prepared to shield Kinder Morgan against financial losses to the project caused by “Premier Horgan’s attempts to delay or obstruct the project.”
Morneau’s guarantee covers financial losses to Kinder Morgan caused by the B.C. Premier but not losses caused by factors outside of that, such as delays or obstruction caused by environmental protests or any First Nations groups opposed to the pipeline.
“We believe that what Premier Horgan has done is unconstitutional. It’s a federal jurisdiction,” he said.
Morneau’s statements are “rhetoric and hyperbole,” Premier Horgan said. “There are fundamental challenges to that project, that he well knows.”
In Alberta, Premier Rachel Notley has now stated that she is willing to stop oil flow from Alberta to B.C. completely if the standoff continues.
“Albertans, British Columbians, and all Canadians should understand that if the path forward for the pipeline through B.C. is not settled soon, I am ready to turn off the taps,” she said.
Meanwhile, several First Nations want the federal court to rule that the government and national energy board failed to adequately consult them.
And Premier Horgan is asking B.C.’s highest court if his own provincial government has the right to change the rules.
“We said in February we’re going to refer this question to a higher court to confirm our jurisdiction,” he said.
Morneau has said that if Kinder Morgan walks away from the project, he believes that other investors will step in to take over. His offer of covering losses caused by B.C.’s delaying of the project stands for other investors as well, he said.
With files from the CBC