Liberal government silent as Trans Mountain construction costs balloon to $31B
VANCOUVER / UNCEDED xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh AND səlilwətaɬ TERRITORIES — As federal crown corporation Trans Mountain announced the cost of its controversial pipeline has skyrocketed yet again to nearly $31 billion, the Wilderness Committee is calling out the Liberal government for this enormous, egregious fossil fuel subsidy.
“Everybody warned Prime Minister Justin Trudeau if he bought this white elephant pipeline it would turn into a financial and political boondoggle,” said Climate Campaigner Peter McCartney. “Honestly, I really hate to say we told them so because there are far better things we should be doing with over $30 billion than exporting a polluting product the world has agreed to abandon as fast as possible.”
When Trans Mountain first proposed its expansion in 2012, American company Kinder Morgan estimated the construction costs at $5.4 billion. In 2018, when the federal government bought the pipeline it had a forecast price tag of $9.6 billion, on top of the $4.5 billion purchase. Last year, the company announced costs had risen to $21.4 billion, and now it predicts it will cost $30.9 billion in total to finish the project with about a year left to go. That means the price of this pipeline has ballooned almost six times. Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland offered loan guarantees to banks to finance the most recent cost overruns.
“In the last year alone, the price tag for this pipeline — already the most expensive industrial project in Canadian history — has gone up almost $10 billion,” said McCartney. “If the Liberal government doesn’t abandon this pointless albatross now, how do we know taxpayers won’t be looking at even more cost overruns and further delays a year from now?”
Trans Mountain blames record flooding in November 2021 among other factors for the ballooning costs. Those floods left the pipeline dangling dangerously above the Coquihalla River and a pool of water sitting in construction sites in Abbotsford.
“How deeply ironic it is for this fossil fuel company that climate disasters have led construction costs to spiral out of control,” said McCartney. “I don’t want to hear from any federal official that bold, transformative climate action is too expensive ever again.”
For more information, please contact:
Peter McCartney | Climate Campaigner
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