Trudeau Plans to Make Pipeline Approval, Trans Mountain Likeliest Candidate

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has several energy projects to review over the next few months, and Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion has the highest chances of being approved, according to people familiar with Trudeau’s plans.

As a promise he made during his campaign last year, Trudeau is aiming to strengthen the environment and build communities’ confidence in new regulatory standards while also helping to boost Canada’s economy by supporting a pipeline project.

Among the several projects that the prime minister will have to consider in the near future, including a legal appeal to Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline and a decision on TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline, Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain project is seen as the likeliest to win approval, said those familiar with Trudeau’s plans.

The Trans Mountain expansion has already won conditional approval from the National Energy Board.

Trudeau’s government body is juggling the necessity to show investors that it can reach consensus to construct energy projects for the country while also standing by its belief in strict environmental regulations in support of the large number of environmentalists who make up the Liberal Party.

Trudeau has spoken positively of the Trans Mountain expansion in the past, saying it could be a net-positive for the Canadian government’s political movement. The cabinet has until December of this year to make a decision on the project.

The $5 billion (C$6.8 billion) project would add approximately 609 miles (980 kilometers) to the existing 714-mile (1,150-kilometer) pipeline. The expansion would carry crude oil from Alberta to Vancouver and triple the amount of capacity on the line to 890,000 barrels per day.

Trans Mountain