Dick Hatfield had his Bricklin. Brian Peckford had his cucumber farm. Justin Trudeau blows them both out of the water with his Trans Mountain pipeline. Long after no one can remember what a Bricklin was, the memory of Trudeau and his pipeline will survive. Stains that big are hard to erase or forget.
Pierre Trudeau will forever be remembered for the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Justin, well, he'll have to settle for a climate-wrecking pipeline.
Yesterday, Bill "Job Churn" Morneau, announced the feds had decided to shell out $4.5 billion to take the son of Enron, Texas-based Kinder Morgan, off the hook for the Trans Mountain pipeline. Yet this is a government that is not disposed to truth-telling. Remember when Junior called those Saudi death wagons mere "jeeps"? Better yet, do you remember Slick's election promises? Oh, weren't we royally suckered?
Now The Tyee's Tar Sands scribe, Andrew Nikiforuk, writes that the $4.5 billion price tag Morneau announced yesterday is just more Liberal bullshit. Try something closer to $20 billion. That's the cost according to economist Robyn Allan.
The $4.5-billion purchase price only buys a leaking 65-year-old pipeline, an aging tanker farm not built to withstand earthquakes, and a port facility as well as engineering plans and permits for the twinning of a high-risk expansion project.
In 2007, Kinder Morgan reported to the National Energy Board that it valued the Trans Mountain pipeline system at $550 million.
Let’s repeat that fact: the federal government will pay $4.5 billion for an old and compromised tanker and pipeline system that the company valued at $550 million in 2007.
“The federal government have overpaid for an aging asset that has huge integrity problems. Every year they have to spend more on maintenance to keep it running,” added Allan.
Next, taxpayers are on the hook for the cost of twinning the project — an estimated $7.4 billion and climbing.
Given the iron law of megaprojects (overbudget and over schedule over and over again), Allan expects the final construction bill to be more than $9 billion.]
Then you have $2.1 billion in financial assurance that the government will have to put up for land-based spills.
According to the Pipeline Safety Act, $1 billion in financial assurances for the existing pipeline was in place based on a $500-million parental guarantee from Kinder Morgan.
As a condition of the pipeline expansion the federal government has required another $1.1 billion.
Taxpayers will also be responsible for $1.5 billion for the so-called ocean protection plan — every five years.
“In the end the federal government is looking at a $15- to $20-billion bill for taxpayers,” concluded Allan.
...Kinder Morgan, which could no longer afford the $7.4-billion project, took advantage of a bitumen republic that foolishly proclaimed an unneeded pipeline a matter of “national interest” without so much as a risk analysis or simple cost benefit report.
The only studies that say the Trans Mountain pipeline will make money for the Canadian economy are reports paid for by Kinder Morgan. Critics including Allan have described these biased reports as fraudulent.
When Canadian taxpayers appreciate the scale of the federal abuse of trust here as well as the government’s blatant corporate welfare for a Texas pipeline company, there will be hell to pay from coast to coast.