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Apr 9, 2018

Alberta’s Notley vows to do ‘whatever it takes’ to keep Trans Mountain expansion alive

Kinder Morgan sets May 31 deadline to keep Trans Mountain expansion alive

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Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is ready and willing to put her money where her mouth is when it comes to pushing pipeline projects through. At a press conference late Sunday afternoon, Notley said Alberta is prepared to take an equity stake in Kinder Morgan’s controversial Trans Mountain expansion project if it means getting the pipeline built.

“Investors in Houston may, or may not, ultimately have the stomach for this fight and maybe the government of B.C. feels they can mess with Texas, and who knows, maybe they can,” Notley said. “But let me be absolutely clear: they cannot mess with Alberta. If we have to, Alberta is prepared to do whatever it takes to get this pipeline built, including taking a public position in the pipeline.”

Notley’s comments came after Kinder Morgan Canada’s surprise decision to put the $7.4-billion Trans Mountain expansion project on ice, suspending all non-essential spending. The pipeline project has faced legal challenges from the B.C. government, falling months behind schedule as myriad permitting delays have ensnared the expansion in red tape.

B.C. Premier John Horgan has been among the most vocal opponents to the project, arguing the increase in tanker traffic through the Port of Vancouver and surrounding area poses an unreasonable risk to the environment. The Trans Mountain project has become a flash point between Alberta and British Columbia, with Notley’s government briefly cutting off shipments of B.C. wine to her province.

Notley vowed that if her province did indeed take an equity stake in the project, Alberta would become an even fiercer proponent for the pipeline.

“Let me be clear: if we take that step, we will be a significantly more determined investor than B.C. has dealt with up to this point,” Notley said. “Never count Alberta out. This pipeline will be built.”