Alberta premier cheers pipeline purchase; opponents express concern, caution

Kinder Morgan reported the spill at its Darfield station around 5 a.m

On Tuesday morning, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced Ottawa would spend $4.5 billion to buy the pipeline expansion, and all of Kinder Morgan Canada's core assets.

"A government that promised to end fossil fuel subsidies and to champion the clean economy should not be spending billions of dollars of taxpayer money to buy out a fossil fuel expansion project", said Weaver, in a statement. The move ended weeks of speculation sparked by Kinder Morgan's threat to abandon a project facing "unquantifiable risk" as the British Columbia government vowed to use every tool to block it. "There is more work to do, but we will not stop until the job is done".

"B.C.is doing all the right things" said May.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau says the government doesn't plan on holding on to ownership of the pipeline, and is looking to sell it to investors at some point in the future.

"Now we're committed to building the expansion, but they have not announced at all how they are going to finance the expansion", said May.

"They're not in business to exit assets", he said.

The deal will result in each Kinder Morgan Canada shareholder receiving $12 per share after capital gains tax - roughly 75 per cent of the company's share price.

He says Kinder Morgan will proceed with its plan to twin the pipeline this summer while the sale is completed. Kinder Morgan makes about $200 million a year from selling space in the existing pipeline to oil companies to ship their product. Construction costs going forward will be included in the $4.5-billion sale price if no buyer is found.

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Kean spent a significant amount of time on the conference call highlighting the company's other assets in Canada, which include its oil storage tanks and crude-oil-by-rail facilities in Edmonton, its Vancouver Wharves Terminal for exporting mineral concentrates from the West Coast, and its Cochin pipeline, which sends light oil to the oilsands so it can be blended with bitumen to flow through pipelines.

Kinder Morgan Canada shares initially jumped as much as 8.5 percent before ending down 3 percent, while the broader Canada share index fell 0.6 percent. If Canada buys the pipeline, it will also acquire the personnel needed to continue with construction.

"Today's agreement will help advance Canada as an energy leader, as a place where good projects get built".

Ottawa approved the expansion in late 2016 but the project faced permit delays and court challenges in B.C. The issue came to a boil in late January when B.C. Premier John Horgan said his government would seek to limit any extra oil shipments through the province due to concerns over oil spills.

"It seems completely insane", May said.

Its expansion is a key part of Canada's effort to boost oil exports to Asian markets - but the plan has been protested by indigenous groups and environmental activists, who warn of the risks of a spill and the hazards of increased petroleum tanker traffic.

The pipeline's expansion had been facing a May 31 deadline - imposed by Kinder Morgan - to solve the impasse between Alberta and British Columbia hampering the project's progress. They have also asked the court to reopen its evidentiary record, more than six months after hearings concluded, to consider new evidence uncovered by a National Observer investigation that revealed public servants were instructed to find a way to approve the project before the government had concluded consultations with First Nations.

"Canada stands to sacrifice its global reputation, irreplaceable iconic species like the Southern resident Killer Whales, and its commitments to meet its Paris Climate targets and to reconcile with Indigenous people - all while putting enormous risk on Canadian taxpayers".

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