Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s additional review of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will lend “credibility” to the final decision by allowing more opponents to be heard, said Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr.
A government-appointed panel has held meetings over the summer along the pipeline route, hearing from proponents and opponents to the Trans Mountain line, which would increase the amount of diluted bitumen flowing through the conduit to the Port of Vancouver. A report will be submitted in November and a decision by Trudeau’s cabinet will be made by Dec. 19, Carr said in Edmonton on Monday.
“If you follow the right process then most Canadians will say ‘I’ve had a chance to be heard,”’ the minister said. Even though the prime minister has “the best interests of Canada at heart,” it’s not possible to “please everyone in these decisions,” Carr added.
Kinder Morgan plans to triple Trans Mountain’s capacity to 890,000 barrels a day by twinning the existing 1,150 kilometer line that runs through the mountainous Canadian province. The system, in operation since 1953, is the only pipeline from Alberta to the Pacific Coast and connects the oil sands directly to a port with reach to markets outside North America.
Trudeau must decide on the C$6.8 billion ($5.2 billion) pipeline expansion, juggling opposition from aboriginal groups along the Pacific coast and residents of Vancouver who are concerned about oil spills, while at the same time accommodating calls from oil
company executives who say the line is vital to get increased output from Canada’s oil sands to global markets via the Pacific Coast.