Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Keystone XL ‘doesn’t get oil to export markets … in China,’ Minister says, in further hint at Trans Mountain OK
Adrian Wyld / CPNatural Resources Minister Jim Carr said Tuesday the Federal government is committed to getting a Canadian pipeline to tidewater.
OTTAWA — The election of Donald Trump, who supports TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries, doesn’t reduce pressure on Ottawa to approve other pipeline projects to the B.C. and Atlantic coasts, Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr said Tuesday.
It was the latest indication that the Trudeau government is poised to approve the controversial $6.8 billion Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion project.
The Keystone project “doesn’t get oil to export markets … in Asia, and it’s a goal of the government of Canada to expand its export markets,” he told reporters when asked about the impact of Trump’s surprise victory on the government’s pipeline plans.
Carr noted that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has spoken repeatedly about his desire to not be reliant solely on the U.S. market for Alberta’s vast oilsands riches.
“I think that if you listen to what the prime minister has said about moving our resources sustainably, the importance of responding to the demands within other export markets and not to rely solely on one major market — that’s a sensible approach to take and nothing has changed,” he told reporters.
Carr’s comment comes in the wake of former B.C. premier Mike Harcourt’s appeal to Ottawa to consider a different location for the Kinder Morgan export terminal.
Carr noted in his exchange with reporters that the government has pledged to make a decision by December 19 on whether to approve Kinder Morgan’s request to triple the capacity of the Trans Mountain pipeline to 895,000 barrels a day.
“We know that the decision on the Trans Mountain expansion will be taken on or before Dec. 19. We outlined a set of principles in January. We have been loyal to those principles every step of the way, and we will continue to be.”
Asked if there is a “level of urgency” in Canada to approve pipelines due to sluggish economic growth, he replied: “The level of urgency is that there’ll be a decision taken on the Trans Mountain expansion by December 19th.”
It was far from the first time that the Trudeau government has hinted it supports Kinder Morgan’s proposal.
Trudeau and Carr have regularly criticized the former Conservative government in the House of Commons over its failure to get a pipeline to “tidewater” — either the Atlantic or Pacific coasts — while Stephen Harper was in power from 2006 to 2015.