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Subs: BC vs Alberta, KMI & Fed Government


So, the dispute bwteene BC and the Canadian federal government & Alberta keeps intensifying and now KMI Canada has chimed in to question the legality of BC’s actions. BC is gonna lose this battle. the only question really is when does it happen and how many more concessions are they able to extort from Alberta and KMI

Calgary Herald:

Somewhere between a bitumen blockade and a wine embargo, an energy company is trying to get a pipeline built.

Despite the tit-for-tat trade actions between Alberta and British Columbia, the president of Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd. insists the company is moving ahead, committed to building the project at the centre of a national firestorm.

But Ian Anderson acknowledges he’s discouraged by the B.C. government’s latest attempts to sidetrack the $7.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion with proposed regulations and restrictions on transporting oil.

He wants the federal government to assert its authority in a morass that’s become as sticky as bitumen itself.

“We are not close to pulling the pin. We are focused on creating the environment and the certainty that we need,” Anderson said Wednesday at the company’s office in Calgary.

“I am frustrated with the difficulty we’re having in creating clarity around a project that was approved, that was reviewed, that has been consulted on for years. We need to get past that and get on to execution 

“So yeah, I’m frustrated with the time it’s taking to get that clarity and certainty, and actions like what B.C. has undertaken provide further measure of frustration.

For anyone blissfully trying to ignore the Great Pipeline Fight of 2018, the Trans Mountain line currently moves about 300,000 barrels a day of petroleum and refined products from the Edmonton area to Burnaby.

Kinder Morgan wants to triple the capacity, amid industry expectations the project will reduce the growing price discount on Canadian heavy crude.

The company first applied in 2013 to the National Energy Board to move the proposal ahead, received regulatory approval in 2016 and winning federal backing later that year.

Today, the development is a full year behind its construction schedule, now slated to start in December 2020, as it’s struggled to get necessary permits.

The government of B.C. Premier John Horgan has pledged to use every tool at its disposal to stop the venture.

Tensions ratcheted up last week after B.C. proposed regulations to limit the amount of diluted bitumen that can be shipped by pipelines or rail into the province, despite the fact this falls under federal authority.

Premier Rachel Notley retaliated Tuesday by blocking all B.C. wine imports into this province.

Kinder Morgan has been relatively quiet during the latest donnybrook, but Anderson said he welcomes Alberta’s support, while calling B.C.’s proposal a step designed to “frustrate, delay and attempt to stop the project.”

Anderson agrees with Alberta’s premier that this is no longer a dispute between two provinces. Instead, it’s a tug of war between B.C. and the federal government over jurisdiction and power.

It also strikes at the heart of trade within the Canadian federation and whether one province with a coastline can frustrate another one from using it to get products to markets.

“We didn’t look to be at the nexus of a trade dispute between provinces. But it certainly speaks to the severity and the consequences that the B.C. actions have certainly signalled,” he said.

Anderson sent a letter to B.C.’s premier Tuesday seeking a meeting — they’ve haven’t sat down since last year’s election — and outlining his concerns, particularly over the attempt to limit bitumen transportation through the province.

“The implications of such a threat strike directly at the heart of our country’s oil and natural gas producers and producing provinces,” the letter states.

Horgan isn’t backing down, saying his province wants to better understand the behaviour of spilled bitumen in case of a catastrophic accident. It also wants to create a scientific advisory panel to recommend how heavy oils can be safely transported and cleaned up.

“I believe that is well within our jurisdiction,” he told reporters Wednesday.

“I am here for B.C., not for Alberta.”

But the National Energy Board already looked into the spill issues, and Ottawa has ruled the project can be safely constructed and operated.

Lost in the political shuffle is the project itself.

Kinder Morgan began work last fall on a new oil-loading facility in Burnaby, although other construction hasn’t started yet.

The first order of pipe has arrived at its facilities in Alberta and the company will spend about $1.5 billion on the project this year.

However, spending would be double that amount if it had full assurances the venture wasn’t going to be sidetracked.

“Certainly our investors are concerned about not just starting the project, but completing the project,” Anderson said.

Here’s another issue at play for the entire country to think about.

How can Canada attract future investment if major industrial projects approved by regulators and the national government can be stymied and obstructed?

“What they are trying to do (is) send a message to investors and to harass the project,” Notley said Tuesday. 

Finally, why isn’t the federal government stepping more forcefully into this feud?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday he will “continue to engage with the premiers on a regular basis,” but offered no assurances he will intervene to stop the trade war escalating.

It’s the equivalent of a hockey referee seeing a brawl break out and skating off the ice, leaving the two sides to swing away.

Anderson welcomes recent remarks from the prime minister that Trans Mountain will be built, but wants to see more action.

“I’m expecting the federal government to impress upon British Columbia directly how their actions are out of line with the federal jurisdiction,” he said.

“And I would also expect the federal government to look at what other tools they may have in their tool box, from a legislative and constitutional standpoint, to assert that authority.”

A resolution in the coming days doesn’t seem likely.

The B.C. bitumen blockade has fermented anger in Alberta, turning into a wine war.

All of industry is carefully watching what the next steps will be — including the company in the crosshairs of the conflict.


VANCOUVER (Reuters) – Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd is gearing up for a legal fight over British Columbia’s plans to block increased oil shipments through the western Canadian province, as it questions the intent of the proposed rules which could further delay its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

In a five-page letter from Kinder Morgan Canada’s President Ian Anderson to British Columbia Premier John Horgan, sent on Tuesday and seen by Reuters on Thursday, Anderson questioned the province’s objectives and said the new rules were in conflict with review processes already completed.

“To that end we have initiated a technical and legal review of whether the suggested provincial initiatives could apply lawfully to a federally regulated Project,” he wrote.

It is the company’s first detailed response since British Columbia’s left-leaning New Democrats announced the proposed new rules last week. The actual regulatory language will be made clear in an intentions paper due later this month.

The plan has prompted a trade battle with Alberta, which retaliated on Tuesday by halting imports of B.C. wine, and has called for the Canadian government to step in.

The C$7.4 billion ($5.88 billion) project was approved by Canada in 2016.

Canadian Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said on Thursday that she had told her provincial counterparts that Ottawa backs the project and has ultimate jurisdiction over it.

If built, the expansion will nearly triple capacity on the existing Trans Mountain pipeline to 890,000 barrels per day. The line extends from Alberta’s energy heartland to a port in Metro Vancouver.

It is championed by Canada’s energy producers, whose oil trades at deep discounts to the West Texas Intermediate crude benchmark, but is opposed by environmentalists, along with some Aboriginal communities and local municipalities, who fear the impact of a potential oil spill.

In his letter, Kinder Morgan’s Anderson outlined the various studies and measures already undertaken on oil spill response.

Anderson also invited Horgan to meet with him to review the company’s plans, and noted any new rules should build on existing work by experts on spill response.

“If your review proceeds, as suggested, … it should be used to broaden understanding and learning, not as a tool to frustrate or delay our Project and investment generally in the energy sector in Canada,” he wrote.

Horgan’s office said they were working on a response.


Alberta PM Notely:


Kinder Morgan Canada’s president says the federal government needs to step up and take action in the deepening trade war between Alberta and B.C. surrounding his company’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

“What we are looking for and what I’ve communicated clearly to Ottawa and to [the Prime Minister’s] office is we need them to continue to stand behind the jurisdiction that they have on this project, the national interest determination that they made, however that is necessarily actioned,” Kinder Morgan Canada President Ian Anderson told BNN on Wednesday.

“I think that if there is [an] ongoing dispute between Alberta and British Columbia there is definitely a role for the federal government to step in and help resolve the dispute.”

The two provinces have traded shots over the past week after B.C. announced plans to limit the amount of bitumen that could flow through the province. In the days since, Alberta has suspended electricity purchase talks with B.C. and announced an embargo on the province’s wine.

Anderson says Kinder Morgan never anticipated getting caught in the middle of an inter-provincial battle like this.

“We’ve all been somewhat taken aback by some of the curves and some of the obstacles we’ve been presented with,” Anderson told BNN.

“A trade dispute between two provinces on the back of a dispute around our project is certainly not anything we anticipated or looked forward to.  But it certainly speaks to the severity of the issue to, in particular, Premier Notley and Alberta producers.”

Trudeau said Wednesday that just because he’s not speaking or acting publicly, it doesn’t mean the federal government isn’t working toward a resolution.

“We’re continuing to discuss and engage with the B.C. government, with the Alberta government,” the prime minister told The Canadian Press. “We’re making sure we come to the right place that’s in the national interest for Canada.

“We’re going to continue to engage with the premiers on a regular basis.”

Anderson echoed comments made by the Alberta premier earlier in the week, calling the dispute one between B.C. and the feds, not the two provinces.

“I think Premier Notley quite rightly points to the fact that this is really a dispute between British Columbia and Canada as much as it is a dispute between B.C. and Alberta. I do think there is definitely a role for the federal government to play in resolving this dispute and dealing directly with British Columbia,” Anderson said.

Speaking with reporters for the first time since Alberta’s proposed wine ban, B.C. Premier John Horgan defended B.C.’s move against the pipeline but said he has no intention to retaliate against Alberta.

“I don’t believe it’s in anyone’s interest to have dueling premiers,” Horgan said. “It’s well known that premier Notley and I have been friends in the past. It’s well-known that we share the same political flag.”

“At the end of the day that’s secondary to my obligation to the people British Columbia and that’s my ultimate focus and my only focus in the days and weeks and months ahead. What Alberta does is entirely up to them.”

However, Anderson said he has communicated to Horgan that the province is over-stepping its bounds.

“What we’re trying to point out to [Horgan] – and I corresponded in a letter with him yesterday directly –  [and] call into question the legality of the jurisdiction that they think they have in order to influence the project outcome in the way that they are proposing at this point and that he should think very seriously about whether or not this tool they are trying to use is one that, in fact, is within their powers to use,” Anderson told

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The information in this blog post represents my own opinions and does not contain a recommendation for any particular security or investment. I or my affiliates may hold positions or other interests in securities mentioned in the Blog, please see my Disclaimer page for my full disclaimer.

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