Politicians and industry have long boasted of the ability for an expanded Trans Mountain pipeline to get oil to lucrative Asian markets from Burnaby’s Westridge terminal.
But experts in Washington State are increasingly concerned that the twinning of the Edmonton-to-Burnaby pipeline may in fact lead to an expansion of the Puget Sound Pipeline, a 111-kilometre “spur line” from Trans Mountain that branches southward at Abbotsford to carry oil to four large refineries in the Puget Sound region.
If Kinder Morgan shareholders vote to approve the deal, Canada will purchase the Puget Sound Pipeline as part of the $4.5 billion deal for the existing Trans Mountain line — meaning the decision to expand the spur line would eventually fall to Ottawa.
Trump may use Puget Sound Pipeline to punish Canada for trade conflict
According to a recent analysis from the Cleveland-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, the presence of the Puget Sound Pipeline in the $4.5 billion sale to Canada may end up being the very thing that scuttles the deal.
That’s because the U.S. government is required to approve the purchase as it crosses the border, including review by both the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States and State Department.
President Donald Trump would ultimately decide the verdict of the deal — which he may oppose given his erratic approach to addressing ever-growing trade tensions between the two countries.
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