Government to file reference case: Can BC control pipeline flow?

Chamber: TransMountain cancellation and what it would mean for Central Alberta
BC rejects Trudeau's claim it has been silent on Trans Mountain demands
Author

19 April, 2018

The Trans Mountain pipeline would see the American headquartered company, Kinder Morgan, build a pipeline from the Alberta oil-sands across the Rocky Mountains, through British Columbia to the coast where it would be loaded on tankers destined for Asia.

But support for the idea of a pipeline doesn't mean British Columbians aren't anxious about its related impacts, according to ARI's data.

Even supporters of the pipeline expressed some concerns about the risks associated with its building and use Photo- Angus Reid Inst.

VICTORIA-British Columbia's attorney general says Alberta's proposed fuel restriction law is a politically motivated "bluff" that will result in an immediate lawsuit from his province and likely lawsuits from oil companies.

Only 12 per cent said they weren't troubled by the other risks, including pipeline construction, a pipeline spill or increased tanker traffic distracting from B.C.'s "natural beauty".

When asked about weighing environmental risks against economic benefits, respondents in B.C. split roughly three ways: 35 per cent said the benefits outweighed the risks, 30 per cent said they were about equal and 34 per cent said the risk was higher than the benefits.

The impending court challenge appears to have made Kinder Morgan, a Texas-based energy infrastructure company, anxious about the future of its pipeline expansion.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said Tuesday his province will support Alberta in the fight over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion by introducing its own legislation on oil exports.

The province says it might use the legislation to fire back at B.C. if it continues to block the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in the courts.

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"Without Alberta's energy, B.C.'s economy would come to a standstill", he said.

Kinder Morgan, the USA -based pipeline builder, announced earlier this month that it was pulling back on spending for the project and gave Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government until May 31 to give a clear signal the project will proceed.

It appears B.C. residents are fed up with their Premier John Horgan's legal and regulatory attempts to stop the project that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's cabinet approved.

"This is a case of politics more than practical realities", Hughes said.

Trudeau, Notley and Horgan met Sunday in Ottawa to discuss the pipeline, but remain deadlocked. Sixty per cent of British Columbians and 71 per cent of Albertans said the prime minister has done a poor job handling the file. Trudeau repeated the federal government's commitment to ensure the project is completed, saying his government will hold private, financial talks with Kinder Morgan.

"If she believes this is going to allow the Alberta government to exert additional pressure to get this pipeline built, we're fully supportive and we're behind her", said Mark Scholz, president of the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors.

The majority of British Columbians said the provincial government should throw in the towel if the courts say it doesn't have the constitutional authority to stop the project. The institute said discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

The poll's probability sample with its sample plan would carry a margin of error of +/- 3.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.


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