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article imageKinder Morgan halts non-essential spending on pipeline

By Karen Graham     Apr 9, 2018 in Business
Kinder Morgan Limited (KML) on Sunday suspended all non-essential activities and related spending on its $7.4 billion oil pipeline expansion project in the face of mounting legal challenges from British Columbia.
The future of the Trans-Mountain Pipeline expansion has again been put in doubt after the announcement on Sunday by company CEO, Steve Kean, reports CBC News.
"In the current environment, we will not put [Kinder Morgan] shareholders at risk on the remaining project spend," Steve Kean, Kinder Morgan's chair, and chief executive officer said in a press release Sunday afternoon.
"A company cannot resolve differences between governments. While we have succeeded in all legal challenges to date, a company cannot litigate its way to an in-service pipeline amidst jurisdictional differences between governments."
The company said it would consult with stakeholders in an effort to reach some kind of agreement on resolving the legal challenges before May 31. The announcement prompted responses from the federal and Alberta governments, pushing B.C. Premier John Hogan to abandon his promise to stop the pipeline expansion.
"The government of Canada calls on Premier Hogan and the B.C. government to end all threats of delay to the Trans Mountain expansion," federal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr said in a news release, reports CTV News. "His government's actions stand to harm the entire Canadian economy."
 Albertans have been clear. Get this pipeline built. And Albertans are right. This pipeline must be ...
"Albertans have been clear. Get this pipeline built. And Albertans are right. This pipeline must be built. Tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars to the economy, better public schools, and better public hospitals." (Press conference on April 8, 2018). — Photo of Alberta Premier Rachel Notley.
Premier Rachel Notley
Edmonton press conference
Over in Edmonton, Alberta, Premier Rachel Notley, at a press conference Sunday afternoon said the May 31 deadline imposed by Kinder Morgan is a very serious concern for the province, saying she understood the company's frustrations in "not knowing how many more legal fronts they need to fight."
However, Notley also said the pipeline is so important to the province it would consider becoming a co-owner. "Alberta is prepared to do whatever it takes to get this pipeline built — including taking a public position in the pipeline," she said. "Alberta is prepared to be an investor in the pipeline."
Notley also had very strong words for both the federal government and John Horgan. Citing the federal government's strong support for other Canadian sectors, she said it was about time that the government stand up for the energy sector. "We are calling on the federal government to act on behalf of Alberta and the pipelines," she said.
Kinder Morgan Headquarters  - 1001 Louisiana St  Houston  Texas  USA
Kinder Morgan Headquarters, - 1001 Louisiana St, Houston, Texas, USA
Notley also verbally promised B.C.'s actions against the pipeline expansion would not go unanswered. She threatened legislation coming up this week that would have "serious economic consequences" for B.C., she said.
"Maybe the government of B.C. feels they can mess with Texas — and who knows, maybe they can. But let me be absolutely clear. They cannot mess with Alberta."
John Hogan's press conference
B.C. Premier John Horgan also held a press conference Sunday afternoon. The main gist of his remarks was that he will not waver from his position. "My views on this have been consistent for the past year," Horgan said. "We believe the risk is too great and there is no evidence to indicate that that risk has been diminished.
"There's the view of the government of Alberta, there's the view of the federal government and then there's the view of the shareholders in Texas. I'm here to defend British Columbians. I want to say to all Canadians that I profoundly believe in the rights of British Columbians to stand up and make sure that we're doing everything we can to protect the interests of our province.
While there is fear that investors will lose interest in the pipeline expansion due to all the delays and legal obstacles, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has the last word in all this.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
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