Union Of BC Indian Chiefs Open Letter To Trans Mountain Pipeline – Concern Over Cost Increase

Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver – On the heels of the news showing that the Trans Mountain Pipeline project will increase in cost, and that is part of what taxpayers are currently paying for after the Federal Liberals bought the pipeline project, The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) have spoken out about the cost overrun projection.

Bloomberg News/Financial Post reported:

The Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion, which Canada is buying from Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd., would be profitable even if costs rose 26 per cent and the project took a year longer to complete.

If the cost of expanding the line increased to $9.3 billion (US$7.1 billion) and wasn’t in service until the end of 2021, the project still would generate $126 million in distributable cash flow the following year, according to a TD Securities analysis included in a Kinder Canada filing on Tuesday.

In their media release, UBCIC noted:

The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) is frustrated and outraged with the $1.9 billion increase in estimated construction costs for the planned Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker project released by Kinder Morgan yesterday.

“The Arctic Circle is burning in Sweden, intense wildfires are ripping through California, heat waves are breaking records across the world, 400 fires are raging in British Columbia and the Canadian government wants to buy an overpriced 60-year-old leaky pipeline and build another one that will guarantee an expansion of greenhouse gas pollution produced by the tar sands at a time when we should be hitting the emergency shutdown button to prevent catastrophic climate chaos,” said UBCIC President Grand Chief Stewart Phillip.

“Canada must embrace a comprehensive renewable energy strategy. It defies any form of rational responsible decision making that we as a country continue to embrace massive projects that will without question add to global warming,” said UBCIC Vice-President Bob Chamberlin. “The ballooning cost underlines the irresponsible decision making that Canadian taxpayers will bear the burden for generations to come.”

The additional $1.9 billion means that Canada’s deal with Kinder Morgan was based on an outdated construction cost estimate of $7.4 billion, an estimate that was not publicly disclosed to Canadian taxpayers when the deal was announced. It was also revealed that the completion date for the project will be delayed—again— by at least a year.

“If Justin Trudeau can’t see the hypocrisy between claiming climate leadership and building a bitumen pipeline, he is either corrupt or shouldn’t be trusted to hold public office,” said UBCIC Secretary-Treasurer Judy Wilson. “A real climate leader would fight the climate emergency that killed 90 people in a Montreal heatwave and help save BC’s 75 remaining Southern Resident Killer Whales by canceling the entire Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker project.”

Kinder Morgan shareholders will vote to approve the deal in Calgary on August 30th.

FVN has reached out to Trans Mountain for comment.

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