The Donald makes good

Originally posted 25 January 2017

The day before Robbie Burns Day was an especially propitious day for executives at TransCanada Corporation.  Two working days into office and the new U.S.  President has “delivered”  on the promise to revive the Keystone XL pipeline from Hardisty Alberta to Steele City on the border of Nebraska and Kansas. The decision is subject to terms being negotiated with the proponents, presumably to achieve some return to the U.S. Treasury and to U.S. construction and factory workers.  Several commentators have noted this negotiation may be similar to the “shake-down” orchestrated by Premier Christy Clark with the Trudeau government’s approval of the Kinder-Morgan TransMountain pipeline. keystone-xl

While jubilation appeared to reign in the office towers in Calgary, environmentalists and indigenous leaders promised to carry on the fight to stop the transport of bitumen to the gulf coast.

The expansion, if completed, will add another 1.1 million barrels per day of shipments over and above the roughly one million barrels being exported via Kinder Morgan and Enbridge’s Line 3 to the U.S. mid-west.   After the Obama administration rejected TransCanada’s proposal, in January 2016 the company filed a Notice of Intent to initiate a claim under Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) seeking $15 billion in costs and damages due to the rejection of the proposed line. The company took a $2.9 billion after-tax non-cash impairment charge in February 2016.

With the political momentum appearing to shift from environmental sympathies to economic development in Washington, Ottawa and Edmonton, pressure will next be applied on Canadian governments to make Canada’s regulation, taxation, and royalty regimes “competitive”.  This will now become necessary in order to fill the pipes.

A recent article by Professor Thomas Gunton, Director  of Simon Fraser University’s Resource and Environmental Planning Program in The Globe and Mail questioned the wisdom of all the added pipeline capacity. [is-canada-setting-itself-up-for-a-pipeline-glut13-1-17-gm]  Unless the industry finds a way to fill the pipes, the shippers will pay the pipeline utilities. This may be the next fight but the oilsands producers must convince a New Democratic government and its regulators of the desirability or necessity of further expansion.

Recent articles

KXL alternative route could cost TransCanada additional $200M26-1-18 EJ

TransCanada CEO moving cautiously on Keystone XL26-1-18 EJ

Alberta backs Keystone with 20-year shipping pledge19-1-18 EJ

Keystone XL secures backing from shippers, including Alberta19-1-18 EJ

‘Race to the courthouse’ expected in Nebraska to appeal KXL decision20-12-17 EJ

Canadian energy firms fight Trump’s coal plan9-12-17 GM

Commission orders revisions to ‘inadequate’ environment report9-12-17 EJ

TransCanada engages landowners on Keystone route29-11-17 GM

Enbridge says Line 3 moving ahead despite scrutiny3-11-17 GM

Enbridge says Line project progressing3-11-17 EJ

TransCanada pushing Alberta to buy Keystone capacity-sources3-11-17 EJ

U.S. approves increase in capacity for Enbridge’s Line 67 to Wisconsin17-10-17 EJ

Canada’s ambassador confident energy sector is safe as NAFTA talks resume23-9-17 EJ

KXL hearings turn to dirt’s impact9-8-17 EJ

KXL opponents vow large fight as Nebraska hearing ends11-8-17 EJ

Nebraska governor optimistic on Keystone XL9-8-17 GM

Notley lauds pipeline project as ‘a win for all of Alberta’11-8-17 EJ

Tense exchanges mark start of Keystone XL pipeline hearings8-8-17 EJ

Canadian energy projects on the line8-8-17 EJ

Land rights now central in Keystone fight5-8-17 GM

Enbridge starts Line 3 rebuild, but protests won’t stop7-8-17 GM

Weaver is wrong- Resource jobs are real6-7-17 GM

Alberta to boost spotlight on foreign deals29-6-17 GM

Advisory group calls for fines if oil industry nears emissions ceiling17-6-17 EJ

Burden on oilsands grows as panel sets strict carbon diet17-6-17 EJ

Green advocate dropped from panel17-6-17 EJ


Trans Mountain faces new risk from NDP, Greens30-5-17 GM

Disputes pile up along Trans Mountain route29-5-17 GM

TransMountain IPO comes at bad time for Kinder Morgan20-5-17 GM

Opposition to pipeline is not obstructionist20-5-17 GM

Mayes Cartoon16-5-17 EJNEB needs major overhaul, panel says16-5-17 GM

Energy analyst criticizes call to report climate change risks17-5-17 GM

Canadian oil could be trump card in NAFTA negotiations17-5-17 GM

Notley took the biggest loss in B.C. election13-5-17 GM

No B.C. government has right to block pipeline, Notley warns17-5-17 GM

Notley chills as B.C. churns17-5-17 GM

Notley to B.C. Hands off pipeline17-5-17 EJ

A Precarious Future11-5-17 EJ

B.C. vote puts heat on Notley11-5-17 EJ

Kinder Morgan eyese IPO for pipeline plan11-5-17 GM

Regulator considers review of Energy East emissions11-5-17 EJ

No firm timelines yet for Keystone XL or Energy East, TransCanada CEO says6-5-17 EJ

Notley doubts Clark has right to add coal tax4-5-17 GM

A last Gasp for KXL activists in Nebraska3-5-17 EJ

Border tax won’t hurt Encana, CEO says3-5-17 GM

Notley says Canada will have many allies if Trump goes after energy trade25-4-17 GM

Notley is right to play the China card21-4-17 GM

Time to stop being awash in red ink and phase out oilsands21-4-17 EJ

Canada warns U.S. on pipeline exclusion13-4-17 GM

Carbon tax requires trust in government11-4-17 EJ

Emissions heavy sectors raise concerns about carbon taxes’ effects on growth13-4-17 GM

Don’t try to ‘steal’ our businesses, Notley warns Wall31-3-31 EJ

Alberta not reversing course on climate change to match U.S.30-3-17 EJ

Calgary Economic Development wary of Wall’s pitch to oil execs30-3-17 EJ

Saskatchewan Premier invites energy companies to relocate30-3-17 GM

Canadian finance minister stands behind federal budget’s tax changes for oilpatch28-3-17 EJ

Trump approves KXL, but battles remain25-3-17 EJ

Trump clears way for Keystone XL pipeline25-3-17 GM

Energy companioes decry tax clampdown24-3-17 GM

Keystone pipeline poised for approval24-3-17 EJ

U.S. State Department set to approve Keystone XL24-3-17 GM

Dependence on U.S. oil markets declining11-3-17 EJ

Opposition jumps on Shell oilsands divestment to attack NDP policies11-3-17 EJ

Half of Canadians back Keystone XL- survey9-3-17 EJ

Energy firms urged to better engage public7-3-17 EJ

Energy leaders defend free trade7-3-17 GM









































(Disclosure: the writer owns shares of Enbridge and TransCanada Coproration)

This entry was posted in Energy on by .

About albertarecessionwatch

Former Director, Institute for Public Economics, University of Alberta and currently Fellow of the Institute. Former executive with Alberta Treasury Branches. Worked for the Alberta government for 12 years with Federal and Intergovernmental Affairs and Alberta Treasury. Areas of focus: financial institutions legislation and policy, government borrowing, and relations with credit rating agencies. Ph.D in Political Science (Uof A), Masters of Public Administration and BComm. (Carleton University). Author of Politics and Public Debt: The Dominion, the Banks and Alberta's Social Credit. Presently working on study of Alberta provincial agency board appointments.

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