April 16, 2018 9:38 am

Scott Thompson: Kinder Morgan pipeline debate more about extremism than the environment

Protesters hold a banner as a transport truck attempting to deliver heavy equipment to Kinder Morgan sits idle as others block a gate at the company's property in Burnaby, B.C., on Monday, March 19, 2018. The federally approved Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion has been put on hold due to opposition.


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had to pull an abrupt U-turn from his trip to Peru for the Summit of the Americas to return home to discipline two fighting provinces.

Alberta wants to move its oil product to market via the expanded Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline from Edmonton to ships in Burnaby. British Columbia, though, says no way.

READ MORE: Trans Mountain pipeline battle continues, B.C. still plans on going ahead with legal case

The PM has been less than proactive on the B.C. government’s obstruction of an already federally-approved project.

That is what has led to his about-face this past weekend, returning from overseas to Ottawa for a meeting which lasted just under two hours with both premiers.

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WATCH ABOVE: Trudeau says he has jurisdiction to build Trans Mountain pipeline

Trudeau finally, face-to-face, reaffirmed that the pipeline will be built, while B.C. promises to exhaust all legal delays, which it will eventually lose.

In the end, the solution was for Trudeau to promise Kinder Morgan that the pipeline will be built and to guarantee that by paying for anything that gets in the way.

The PM’s delay has turned this fully-funded private project into one for which the government is now on the hook, due to a discussion that should have happened months ago, before the ultimatum from Kinder Morgan to pull out of the project.

Two points make this issue even more bizarre.

We have two neighbouring western provinces fighting tooth and nail, and both are represented by NDP governments.  Where is their federal leadership?

Also, B.C., which purports to be the environmental and social conscience of the country, has the largest coal port in North America.

B.C. moves more coal out of Vancouver by ship than Norfolk, Va., an American coal hub, and more than all of Mexico. Why can B.C. ship its coal to China, but Alberta can’t bring its oil to market?

And isn’t coal the absolute dirtiest of all fossil fuels?

This is less about the environment and more about the wacky politics of extremists.

Scott Thompson hosts The Scott Thompson Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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