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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, describing a controversial expansion of the pipeline as "an important project in the national interest," says his government is buying the Trans Mountain pipeline to ensure expansion despite protests from environmentalists and other groups] The government takes control of the 715-mile pipeline and its expansion, which is expected to increase capacity to 890,000 barrels per day. To do so, Canada will pay the current owner of the pipeline, Kinder Morgan, $ 4.5 billion in Canadian dollars – about $ 3.5 billion in dollars.
"Today we have taken measures to create and protect jobs in Alberta and British Columbia and to resume the expansion of the TMX pipeline, an important project in the national interest" Trudeau said in a Tweet .
The pipeline connects oil sands facilities near Edmonton, Alberta, with tanks at Burnaby, near Vancouver on the west coast of Canada. Its expansion is an important part of Canada's efforts to boost oil exports to Asian markets – but the plan has been protested by indigenous groups and environmental activists warning of the dangers of burial and the dangers of increased tanker truck traffic.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau discussed the plan on Tuesday, saying that the government has taken action to remove political uncertainty and ensure that the project progresses as the summer season approaches.
The problem has divided two Canadian provinces pitting Alberta's government against leaders in British Columbia. Today, her reactions were decidedly different.
"Any climate change plan that ignores the needs of working people is doomed to fail," said Alberta's Prime Minister Rachel Notley following the announcement of the agreement . "And any economic plan that ignores climate change will make our businesses, our children and future generations fail."
Premier John Horgan said in British Columbia: "Tens of thousands of jobs in British Columbia depend on pristine coastal and inland waters. Our environment generates millions of economic activities, from tourism to film and fishing, no matter who owns the pipeline 'Defense of our coast – and our lands, rivers and streams – is before the impact of a dilbit [diluted bitumen]. "
Horgan said his province will continue to seek an appeal to stop the expansion.
The pipeline purchase is expected to be completed in August. It is subject to the approval of the shareholders of Kinder Morgan.
In addition to the initial costs of paying for the nationalization of a giant energy company, CBC in Canada reports that the government may be forced to spend another billions to complete the expansion. Upon completion of the project, Canada plans to sell the pipeline.
In order to attract a prospective buyer for the pipeline, Morneau said the government plans to "extend federal compensation to protect a new owner from costs associated with politically motivated delays.
NPR's Jeff Brady contributed to this report.