Kinder Morgan misleading public regarding Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

Study questions benefits of Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain expansion

By Lauren Krugel
The Canadian Press: November 10, 2014

Kinder Morgan is overplaying the economic benefits and downplaying the costs of its proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, according to a report released Monday.

Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Public Policy Research teamed with The Goodman Group Ltd., a California-based consulting firm, to examine the estimated impacts of the project.

The report “strongly recommends that the citizens and decision-makers of B.C. and Metro Vancouver reject this pipeline, which is neither in the economic nor public interest of B.C. and Metro Vancouver.”

The Trans Mountain pipeline currently ships 300,000 barrels of petroleum products per day from the Edmonton area to the West Coast. The $5.4-billion expansion would nearly triple its capacity to 890,000 barrels a day, enabling crude exports to Asia via the Vancouver area.

In its regulatory application to the National Energy Board late last year, Kinder Morgan included an analysis by the Conference Board of Canada, an economic think-tank based in Ottawa. The conference board estimated 36,000 person-years of employment in B.C. while the pipeline was being built.

Monday’s report disputes those numbers, saying expected employment during construction would be about a third of that — 12,000 person years, tops. That’s less than less than 0.2 per cent of total provincial employment.

The number of long-term jobs is also overstated, according to the SFU-Goodman report.

Kinder Morgan has projected 50 direct full-time jobs once the pipeline is up and running, with 2,000 resulting from the project’s spinoff benefits. The report pegs the spinoff jobs at closer to 800.

The report’s authors say B.C. government coffers will get a “tiny” benefit from the Trans Mountain expansion, with Alberta and oilsands producers the main beneficiaries. Property tax benefits for B.C. communities along the route would average less than one per cent of current total municipal revenues.

“B.C. is not getting its fair share of benefits from this project,” said Ian Goodman, president of The Goodman Group.

On the cost side, the report also takes issue with Kinder Morgan’s numbers. The company’s most expensive spill scenario puts the cost at $100 million to $300 million. Brigid Rowan, senior energy economist with the Goodman Group, said a large spill in a highly populated area like Metro Vancouver could cost up to $5 billion.

“Putting it all together, the benefits are not as good as we’ve been told, but the costs are much worse,” she said.

(read the full article at Vancouver Sun

Alternative Free Press -fair use-