Kinder Morgan has suspended all “non-essential” spending on its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion due to opposition from the British Columbia government, issuing an ultimatum that it won’t commit any more dollars to the $7.4-billion project unless it can get agreement from the province to stand aside by the end of May.
The fate of the project — which has become the focal point of a larger Canadian debate over environment protection versus energy development, and federal authority versus local interests — could be decided in the weeks ahead.
The pipeline company said in a news release Sunday it will consult with stakeholders in an effort to reach agreements by May 31 that could allow the project to still go ahead.
“If we cannot reach agreement by May 31st, it is difficult to conceive of any scenario in which we would proceed with the project,” Kinder Morgan chief executive officer Steve Kean said in a news release.
The announcement from the American pipeline company is a blow to both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, who have been aligned in the message that environmental progress must be balanced with economic development, and the project is in the national economic interest.
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