Vancouver Sun

‘I AM NOT GIV­ING UP ON THIS. WE FOUGHT ... TOO HARD’

Kin­der Mor­gan bat­tles for pipe­line amid trade war with B.C., Clau­dia Cat­ta­neo says.

- Fi­nan­cial Post ccat­ta­neo@na­tion­al­post.com Canada News · Politics · British Columbia · Kinder Morgan Power Company · Ian Anderson · Alberta · New Democratic Party (Canada) · Rachel Notley · John Horgan · Green Party of Canada · Alberta New Democratic Party · George Heyman · National Energy Board

If the point of the Bri­tish Columbia gov­ern­ment’s con­tin­u­ing tantrums against bi­tu­men pipe­lines is to get pro­po­nent Kin­der Mor­gan Canada Ltd. to quit in frus­tra­tion, it’s not work­ing.

Pres­i­dent Ian An­der­son, who has led the pro­posal to ex­pand the Trans Moun­tain pipe­line through years of er­ratic B.C. pol­i­tics, said the project is stay­ing the course — even if it’s mov­ing for­ward at a slower pace than he or his in­vestors would like.

“I am not giv­ing up on this,” he said in an in­ter­view Wed­nes­day. “We fought too long and too hard.”

The bat­tle to ex­pand the ca­pac­ity of Kin­der Mor­gan’s Al­berta-to-West Coast pipe­line has es­ca­lated into an ugly trade war be­tween neigh­bour­ing prov­inces.

Al­berta NDP premier Rachel Not­ley an­nounced a boy­cott of B.C. wines Tues­day af­ter can­celling talks to buy B.C. elec­tric­ity. More eco­nomic re­tal­i­a­tion could be on the way.

She was re­act­ing to yet another stalling tac­tic by the B.C. gov­ern­ment — a plan by Min­is­ter of En­vi­ron­ment and Cli­mate Change Strat­egy Ge­orge Hey­man to im­pose more reg­u­la­tions on bi­tu­men trans­porta­tion, in­clud­ing “re­stric­tions on the in­crease of di­luted bi­tu­men trans­porta­tion un­til the be­hav­iour of spilled bi­tu­men can be bet­ter un­der­stood and there is cer­tainty re­gard­ing the abil­ity to ad­e­quately mit­i­gate spills.”

While the Trans Moun­tain ex­pan­sion was not specif­i­cally men­tioned, An­der­son said Hey­man’s plan is clearly aim­ing to dis­rupt his project, a view he ex­pressed in a let­ter to B.C. Premier John Hor­gan Tues­day.

“This sub­ject has been stud­ied numer­ous times over the last sev­eral years,” An­der­son said in the in­ter­view. “There are on­go­ing com­mit­ments to con­tinue fur­ther study and re­search into the be­hav­iour of oil in the marine en­vi­ron­ment, and those are stud­ies that will con­tinue to be sup­ported by in­dus­try and gov­ern­ments. To cre­ate a new track of study and re­search we don’t think is nec­es­sary, given the work that has al­ready been done, and fully con­sid­ered by the Na­tional En­ergy Board and the fed­eral gov­ern­ment in com­ing to their de­ci­sion.”

An­der­son said it’s ob­vi­ous the mo­ti­va­tion of the B.C. gov­ern­ment’s plan is “to sat­isfy the po­lit­i­cal prom­ises that the premier has made with the Green party.”

The B.C. NDP needs the sup­port of the Green party’s three MLAs to stay in power and they’re not happy these days be­cause of Hor­gan’s ap­proval of the Site C hy­dro project and his re­cent sup­port of liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas.

“The premier in B.C. is mak­ing it sound like this is a nor­mal course, in­signif­i­cant path that he is tread­ing down, but we all know where it ends, and it ends in at­tempts to con­tinue to frus­trate and de­lay us, and we are not go­ing to stand for that,” An­der­son said.

Hor­gan has down­played the bi­tu­men study an­nounce­ment, say­ing a panel to look at the con­se­quences of a spill is not un­rea­son­able.

The boy­cott against B.C. wine, a grow­ing and beloved pro­vin­cial in­dus­try, got his at­ten­tion.

Hor­gan pro­posed to re­solve the bi­tu­men dis­pute in court — an in­ter­est­ing of­fer since B.C. has thumbed its nose at le­gal pro­cesses, par­tic­u­larly those that didn’t end up in its favour, such as the ap­proval of the Trans Moun­tain ex­pan­sion by the Na­tional En­ergy Board and then by the fed­eral cab­i­net.

An­der­son ap­plauded Not­ley’s han­dling of the dis­pute, which he says lines up with the views and frus­tra­tions of the Al­berta oil and gas in­dus­try and of Al­ber­tans gen­er­ally.

He’s not keen on, how­ever, Not­ley’s sug­ges­tion of cut­ting off Al­berta’s oil ex­ports to B.C. Many have mused such ac­tion would get the at­ten­tion of Bri­tish Columbians, who bash pipe­lines from Al­berta while help­ing them­selves to Al­berta oil to fuel their cars, trucks and air­planes.

All Al­berta oil to B.C. trav­els on Kin­der Mor­gan’s Trans Moun­tain sys­tem. The pipe­line is a pri­vate com­pany with obli­ga­tions to ship­pers and “it would get very com­pli­cated if we were to re­strict cur­rent move­ment to send a mes­sage to Bri­tish Columbia,” he said. “That would not be some­thing we would sup­port or would ad­vo­cate for and I don’t be­lieve it’s some­thing that we would even con­sider.”

The project is also mov­ing to­ward res­o­lu­tion of all re­main­ing le­gal chal­lenges be­fore fed­eral and pro­vin­cial courts, with de­ci­sions ex­pected in the first half of the year, An­der­son said.

It’s now up to the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to help get the project to the fin­ish line by uphold­ing its ju­ris­dic­tion and tak­ing any nec­es­sary ac­tions with B.C., he said.

Un­til there is greater cer­tainty, the project will not in­vest heav­ily in con­struc­tion, which un­der the lat­est sched­ule is ex­pected to start in late sum­mer, with com­ple­tion ex­pected in De­cem­ber 2020, An­der­son said.

“We have a few months of hard work ahead of us to get to a po­si­tion of clar­ity and cer­tainty,” he said. “I want the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to be with me in en­sur­ing that that ap­proval that they granted is sus­tain­able and is go­ing to be there right till the end.”

 ?? TODD KOROL FOR NA­TIONAL POST ?? Kin­der Mor­gan pres­i­dent Ian An­der­son says the ex­pan­sion of the Trans Moun­tain pipe­line is stay­ing the course de­spite what he per­ceives as B.C.’s dis­rup­tive tac­tics to block the project.
TODD KOROL FOR NA­TIONAL POST Kin­der Mor­gan pres­i­dent Ian An­der­son says the ex­pan­sion of the Trans Moun­tain pipe­line is stay­ing the course de­spite what he per­ceives as B.C.’s dis­rup­tive tac­tics to block the project.

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