Kennedy Stewart is the federal NDP's science and technology critic and MP for Burnaby-Douglas.

NDP critic suggests price to accept oil pipeline

$2.50 per barrel offer might sway communities, Burnaby MP Kennedy Stewart says

A federal NDP MP predicts Kinder Morgan will have to offer B.C. and affected communities hundreds of millions of dollars a year if it wants its Trans Mountain oil pipeline twinning to be seriously considered.

Kennedy Stewart, the federal NDP’s science and technology critic, said he expects the company to make a low-ball offer to satisfy the B.C. government’s demand for a share of benefits to compensate for the risk.

The Burnaby-Douglas MP estimates Kinder Morgan stands to earn $5 per barrel of oil it transports, so company profits on the 890,000-barrel-per-day dual pipelines could top $1.5 billion a year.

An offer to B.C. of a few cents per barrel shipped for a provincial benefits fund supporting first nations, affected communities and cleanup response measures would be far too low, Stewart said.

But he said a much more generous figure would have to be considered.

“If Kinder Morgan said $2.50 a barrel – half of the revenue would go to the province – you would take that back to the community and talk to the community about it,” Stewart said.

It’s one of the first suggestions from the ranks of pipeline opponents that a sufficiently attractive offer could trump environmental worries.

“I’m against this project. But I think you always have to keep your mind open when you’re looking at economics and then go back to your community with particular offers.”

Stewart said he didn’t pick the $2.50 per barrel figure – he says it arose through conversations with his constituents, who are seeking a series of commitments from Kinder Morgan, including assurances that no homes be expropriated, that temporary foreign workers won’t build the pipeline and that no construction will begin without local referenda.

Stewart noted he’s not in any position to negotiate, adding re-elected Premier Christy Clark will have to decide what price is fair.

“This is where this conversation is heading – how much does Kinder Morgan have to pay to put this pipeline through communities.”

Ben West, a ForestEthics campaigner opposed to transport of bitumen from the Alberta oil sands, said he was surprised by Stewart’s comments.

“There is no amount of money that would make this a good idea,” West said.

He said the environmental risk of a spill outweights any amount of financial compensation.

“The impact on our coast is too great and the potential impact on our economy if there was a spill is too great.”

West called the notion a “non-starter” because he doubts Kinder Morgan would ever offer anywhere near $2.50 a barrel.

Asked about the company’s plans to ensure Trans Mountain’s expansion benefits B.C., senior project director Greg Toth called B.C.’s demand for a fair share a “government-to-government” question.

He said local and regional benefits will come from the jobs in building and operating the new pipeline.

“We are looking at a community investment program at a local level,” Toth added. “What are the things we can do as part of the project to offset or mitigate the potential impacts of constructing the pipeline.”

Company officials wouldn’t comment on Stewart’s $2.50 suggestion, but reiterated president Ian Anderson’s statement last year that they look forward to discussing economic benefits for B.C. and are confident a collaborative approach will lead to an acceptable solution.

The TransMountain pipeline expansion was a major issue in the B.C. election when B.C. NDP leader Adrian Dix came out against a major jump in oil tanker traffic through Metro Vancouver, ahead of any formal application by the company.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

OBITUARY: Sherrold Haddad brought giant Canadian flag to Surrey car dealership, built community

‘An amazing man, business person and community leader,’ friend Bruce Hayne posted to Facebook

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock, Delta and beyond

MARCH 28: Delta council passes bylaw to fine people who don’t socially distance

White Rock council members stand by decision to close pier

Minimal push-back over closure to minimize chance of spreading COVID-19 virus

From lockdown in Italy to self-isolation in South Surrey

Like many returning citizens, Peninsula-raised James Bogart & Emily Schenk have a long journey ahead

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Blue ribbons popping up along streets in Abbotsford in praise of B.C. healthcare workers

Healthcare worker’s family starts local trend of morale support

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

Most Read

l -->