The Day Kenney Bet $7.5 Billion on the US Election

In September 2019 Jason Kenney began negotiating with TC Energy to invest $7.5 billion in cash and loan guarantees in the Keystone XL pipeline.

In March 2020 Kenney announced negotiations were complete and the government had signed an agreement which he said had been rigorously vetted by the government and outside experts to ensure the success of KXL while also minimizing the risk to Alberta taxpayers.

This week the Joe Biden campaign announced Biden would rescind the KXL pipeline permit if he were elected president in November 2020.

The political risk became very real, but Kenney was unperturbed.   

He said “we entered into this, eyes wide open, recognizing that there was of course a political risk”. His energy minister, Sonya Savage, said “rather than speculating about the outcome of the US election, we will spend our time continuing to meet with our US allies and speak to Alberta’s role in supporting North American energy independence and security.”

Mr Kenney with his eyes wide open

Well of course there is no point in speculating about the outcome of the US election, Jason Kenney ran those odds in the fall of 2019 and concluded it was a safe bet Trump would win when he plunked $7.5 billion of taxpayers’ money on a single spin of the roulette wheel.

Now he’s responding to Biden’s campaign promise as he always does when one of his harebrained decisions threatens to blow up in his face: he’s filling the air waves with bafflegab and is lining up people (Obama, Trudeau, Gerry Butts) to blame if his bet goes sideways.

Bafflegab

Kenney told Albertans their $7.5 billion is safe because:

  • He’s organizing allies, ie pro-pipeline American governors and American unionized workers who are building KXL. What does he expect them to do, convince voters to vote for Trump, not Biden?
  • He might lodge a complaint with an international trade body. Like what with whom? The investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions in NAFTA 2.0 were scaled back and Canadian investors can no longer commence direct arbitration proceedings against the US government. Instead they can try to convince the Canadian government to make a claim against the US government (good luck with that) or bring a claim in a domestic (US) court and argue what? That a presidential order that gives the president “unreviewable authority” is in fact “reviewable” by the courts at the behest of Alberta?
  • He’ll use whatever legal means are available to protect Alberta’s fiscal and economic interests. Assuming the American courts are prepared to review the president’s “unreviewable authority”, litigation takes years to work its way through the judicial system, TC Energy’s obligation to repay Kenney’s $1.5 billion equity investment is not triggered until after construction is completed.  The $1.5 billion will be tied up for decades.     
  • He wants to get as much of KXL built as possible and he can’t imagine a U.S. president would require thousands of miles of pipe be pulled out of the ground eight or nine months from now. Two issues here: (1) the pace of construction is decided by TC Energy, not Jason Kenney (we’re still dealing with Covid-19, remember) and (2) the president’s “unreviewable authority” over pipelines crossing the Canada/US border applies to existing pipelines as well as new ones, so there’s nothing stopping Biden from requiring TC Energy to pull the pipe out of the ground.    
  • He fully expects “any United States’ president, regardless of party or platform, to tread very carefully before undermining the single most important bilateral economic project in which a Canadian company and a Canadian government are investing massively to create jobs in the United States as well as in Canada.” Yes, throwing around words like “bilateral” and “Canadian  government” creates the impression that this is bigger than it is, but there is nothing “bilateral” about a private sector pipeline company seeking regulatory approval from the US government to cross the Canada/US border. The only difference between KXL and other cross border pipelines like the Enbridge mainline, TC Energy Keystone, and Spectra Express is the other three managed to go it alone. Alberta’s $7.5 billion investment does not magically transform KXL into a bilateral blah blah blah that no president would dare to impede.
  • He said the $6 billion in loan guarantees won’t be triggered until the 2021 construction season. If Biden is elected, he won’t be sworn in until January 2021. What happens if Biden doesn’t revoke the permit right away (Trump didn’t get around to issuing the original permit until March 2017), does Kenney have the power to force TC Energy to delay the 2021 construction season?

Eyes Wide Shut

Joe Biden entered the presidential race on April 25, 2019 almost a full year before Kenney announced his government’s investment in KXL. Kenney can say whatever he likes about the wisdom (or lack thereof) of Biden rescinding the presidential permit, but one thing he can’t say is that Biden’s position comes as a surprise.  

No one forced the man who holds the pen to sign away $7.5 billion in cash and loan guarantees on a project fraught with political risk over which he has no control or influence.

Kenney placed a heavy bet on the success of the Trump campaign team. In six months’ time we’ll find out whether it’s Kenney or Biden who gets to put KXL on their “promises made, promises delivered” list.

That may feel like eyes wide open to Mr Kenney, but it feels like eyes wide shut and fingers crossed to the rest of us.

This entry was posted in Economy, Energy & Natural Resources, Politics and Government and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to The Day Kenney Bet $7.5 Billion on the US Election

  1. papajaxn says:

    I am not sure if I have mentioned this before or not; the KXL pipeline project may not have anything to do with oil. The product that will flow in the pipeline will be fresh potable water from the ground water. The AER we know is also the regulatory body granting agency for water licencing in Alberta. Under the pipeline act companies do not have to disclose what product is on board. Like the railway corps only when disasters happen do they disclose the product manifests. I may not be able to prove my position until a whistleblower spills the truth about water sales and shipments. I have been affirmed that tar sands companies are selling fresh water to other tar sands companies. Water is “the one who cannot be named” in the mysterious wizard chronicles of the oil and pipeline industries.
    The self reporting and monitoring of water issues have been given a pass in Alberta.

    • Dwayne says:

      papajaxn: I strongly believe that there will be a bigger concern for people than oil. It will be water. Without water, humans, animals and plants, including crops, just won’t survive. I recall, long ago when trees would start showing signs of budding in late March, and in early April. In mid April, the trees would really start to turn more green, and by May they would have full foliage. For many years already, I have noticed the trees start to barely bud in May, and it would be in the end of May, or early June when they would be fully green. This is in Edmonton. I have heard of other places having dry conditions. As Canada has the bulk of North America’s fresh water supply (fresh might be in question, due to industrial activity polluting it), America is going to demand it. Our Canadian politicians will probably give in, and let them take it, which is not good.

    • CallmeHal2000 says:

      A little reminder to Albertans that the eastern slopes of the Rockies are our watershed.

      “The priority in our thinking should always be around water security.”

      https://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/logging-on-the-eastern-slopes-prompts-debate-about-watershed-health

      Sundre is environment minister Jason Nixon’s home turf. Will our headwaters will be protected from coal mining pollution on the eastern slopes? Not likely. Pollution monitoring has been suspended.

      And what of selling our provincial parks, including mineral rights in those same eastern slopes to foreign-owned private companies? Our water may not be ours after June 1, and we will have Jason Kenney to thank for it. This is very dire. Not only could we lose our recreational areas, but the water that we need to survive. All life depends on water.

      Water flow in the Milk River faced a serious crisis last week.

      https://lethbridgeherald.com/news/lethbridge-news/2020/05/21/river-of-no-return/

      Irrigation produces food crops on those lands in southern Alberta, so this is not just a matter of a few residents being inconvenienced. It’s a matter of food security, something that should be an issue for anyone who has shopped for groceries since the Covid-19 health crisis hit our province in March 2020.

      I think you may have struck upon an issue that has been simmering since the 1970s. The U.S. has had its eyes on our resources, including water, for a very long time. This is the stuff of Richard Rohmer novels decades ago.

      It is shocking that Jason Kenney is keen to cut off the lifeblood to Albertans. We cannot survive without water. He will be the end of us.

      • CallmeHal: great comments. I note in the Lethbridge Herald article at the link said the paper “tried to contact Associate Minister Grant Hunter’s office for comment from the Alberta government on this issue, but did not hear back from his office prior to press time on Thursday.” I suspect we’d get the same response if we asked our esteemed environment minister Jason Nixon whether he’s given any thought to protecting our headwaters from coal mining pollution. These guys are pillaging their way across Alberta, there is so much damage on so many fronts, it’s hard to pick our battles, and that’s just the way Kenney likes it. What a disgusting excuse for a government.

    • Papajaxn and Dwayne: I have a friend who is a university professor in the poli-sci department. She’s been extremely concerned about Canada’s water management and the fact Canada (at least today) has an abundant water supply and the US does not. This imbalance will worsen as the impacts of climate change become more severe. The worry of course is that we have what the US wants and the US usually gets what it wants one way or another. This isn’t a new thing. The Canadian actor Paul Gross starred in a mini-series called H2O about the topic in 2004. And yet we sit here, fussing about KXL which (if completed) will deliver even more bitumen to the US at discounted prices…

  2. Baine says:

    And now, rather than diversity the economy, Kenney is playing the easy card by reinstating development of the coal industry, appealing to Alberta’s unemployed, with no regard for the environment, and pitting environmentalists against the unemployed. That’s certainly an unbalanced contest given current economics. Where is long-term planning and development? Is, diversification, as UPC stated, really a luxury we cannot afford.?

    • Dwayne says:

      Baine: The UCP is letting coal mines go near our provincial and our national parks. This includes near the Rocky Mountains. This means deforestation, and more flooding. Jason Kenney and the UCP want our provincial parks and protected areas to go into private hands, which is a big mistake. Jason Kenney forgot that his former CPC cabinet minister, Jim Prentice, wanted coal fired power plants in Canada gone by the year 2020. This coal that will be mined will have a different purpose, (making steel), but it still will contribute to pollution.

    • Blaine: “pitting environmentalists against the unemployed”, that seems to be Kenney’s modus operandi. Pit everyone against everyone and they’re so busy fighting with each other than Kenney’s UCP gets to do whatever it wants. As you point out, with Kenney it’s full steam ahead but without any vision, long-term strategy, planning or development.
      The lack of vision or strategy is fatal. I speak from experience in the private sector. I had the good fortune to work for a visionary CEO who retired and was replaced by one whose horizon was the next quarterly report. Guess which one tanked the company.

  3. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Thanks for another great blog. I have mentioned this before, that triple digit oil prices, and oil booms are a thing of the past. No new pipelines will change this. Alberta has oilsands oil, which has a tougher time of competing with the glut of far cheaper oil that has permeated the market. The Alberta PCs had only one premier, with oil industry experience, Peter Lougheed. He knew that oil booms simply will not be around for an eternity. The Alberta PC premiers and governments that followed, thought the opposite. They did many boondoggles, one was blowing $35 billion on a bitumen upgrader. It is a long-standing burden on Alberta taxpayers, because oil prices are simply too low to make it functional. The UCP has blown $7.5 billion on a pipeline, which is not economically viable, because of very low oil prices. The UCP have done at least $50 billion in very costly mistakes, and this was in only 12 months. There was outrage when Justin Trudeau bought a pipeline, which Jason Kenney supported doing. There is no outrage when Jason Kenney and the UCP did many very costly debacles, including wasting the $7.5 billion on this pipeline, which also happened to be shot down, by a judge in America. It’s likely that this pipeline will increase in cost. In Alberta, there are many people struggling, and the UCP continues to waste money. The last, and only great Conservative premier in Alberta, happened to be Peter Lougheed. We are not going forward, in a good direction, with the UCP. They are making it tough on anyone who is not wealthy, like a rich corporate CEO. Again, it’s still a good idea to donate to our local food banks, so people can be fed.

    • Dwayne: I agree with your concerns about Kenney’s expensive mistakes and can’t understand why his supporters aren’t more exorcised about it. With respect to the diversification issue, I attended an interesting zoom session with Trevor Tombe, the UofC economist. Tombe said Alberta’s largest employer was healthcare, second was the service sector, oil and gas is down around #8 or so. It’s only when you look at which sector has the most impact on GDP that oil and gas bounces up to #1.
      He says the issue isn’t diversification as much as the volatility of the sector that has the greatest impact on GDP. We could smooth out that volatility by adding other more sustainable revenue sources, like a provincial sales tax.
      I continue to hope that Albertans will finally see the light and join the rest of Canada in implementing a sales tax that would ween us off oil and gas in the future. If we did that we might actually learn to think about the economy in a rational way and free ourselves from what Kevin Taft calls Oil’s Deep State.

      • Dwayne says:

        Susan: Alberta already has a plethora of different taxes, that the Alberta PCs put in. Yet, we still are so broke. I recall the idea of a P.S.T for our province being looked at around 13 years ago. It was something that the Alberta PCs wanted to do. However, Albertans will reject it, especially in this time. They will have to accept something, as oil prices are not going back to the way they were. There were telling signs as far back as 2013, that things would get rough, starting in 2014. Unless, a new revenue stream comes, more Ralph Klein type cuts will happen with the UCP. The UCP’s very costly mistakes aren’t helping. Many will be left behind.

  4. Kelly says:

    With Kenny’s decision to suspend monitoring of pollution by oil companies during COVID-19 and to open up our pristine foothills to coal mining, Joe Biden, investment funds and environmentalists have been handed all the ammunition they need to reject Alberta oil completely.

    • I agree Kelly. One wonders why Kenney can’t connect the dots. On the one hand he says Alberta is home to “ethical oil” with the highest environmental standards on the planet and on the other he decimates our environmental regulations. He said he had to suspend monitoring because of the “burden” it put on the oil companies during Covid-19. Interestingly, he didn’t suspend the regs applicable to other essential services being performed in hospitals, grocery stores and meat packing plants (although truth be told, I’m not so sure about the meat packing plants).

  5. Bill Malcolm says:

    Exactly, Kelly.

    And according to Nikiforuk writing in the Tyee, Norges Bank, the investment arm of the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund worth $1.4 trillion, gave up on Alberta tarsands investment after three years of warnings because of environmental concerns. Alberta isn’t meeting European standards or even trying to. As I’ve said before, Notley was no shining light on this issue either, making no logical sense with her “earn the money from dilbit to pay for environmental remediation nonsense”. There’s a peculiar Alberta outlook, a certain navel-gazing, I just do not get. My relatives in Calgary exhibit this trait after decades of indoctrination, which is why I follow the Alberta scene from afar.

    Just to show he doesn’t give a flying eff what those ecoweenie green Euros, who in his befuddled mind are trying to derail Alberta’s one and only industry of any note, well, that was when Jason doubled down on his removal of environmental monitoring from merely the not having to report spills any more he began in April. That’ll show the world Alberta means business! He cannot claim dilbit is the world’s most ethical product any more, but what the hell.

    Speaking as a Canadian, I cannot see why we are shovelling money to Alberta for dead oil well-head remediation as a pandemic make-work project of a purely provincial problem, and propping up the four main tarsands companies mentioned in Nikiforuk’s article, to keep producing ersatz oil which is essentially worthless, when kenney is forking out billions to further private interests. But Trudeau has bought into KXL and bought TMX as well to his everlasting shame. So we’re all living in la la land.

    Having fired 26,000 teachers/public servants, purloined public servant/teacher pension plans to his own ends, seen Alberta Investment Management Co lose $4 billion this year, not distributed the $2 an hour raise Ottawa has paid him for health care aides during the pandemic, got his laid-off UCP office workers to suckle on Ottawa’s CERB teat without the slightest hint of shame, kenney seems genuinely off his rocker in an evil, cunning, sly and glib way. Oh, and forgetting China has deep state and private investment in Alberta’s petro industry, he saw fit to give ’em the old kenney one-two on the virus. They did not take kindly to his horse manure.

    Surprising there hasn’t been rioting on the streets. But with no decent-sized independent media and PostMedia, Global and CTV unwilling to talk about the reality and to even push the “business” view of things, I suppose the average stolid Albertan thinks kenney is just fine, maybe even a genius. We all know the CBC is staffed by commies, after all, so forget them.

    Oh, here’s the link to that Nikiforuk article:

    https://thetyee.ca/Analysis/2020/05/23/Alberta-Trashes-Pollution-Protections/

    And now there’s a solid chorus to bring back harper. You betcha, Stevie the wonder autocrat with minders watching federal scientists in case they show signs of non-CPC behaviour, corruption writ large, fights with the SCC, and a laundry list of filthy nonsense and under-handed dealings. Why, he’s just what this country needs.

    • Mike Priaro says:

      On the other hand, Saudi Arabia, yeah, that Saudi Arabia, recently invested in the oil sands by buying shares in Suncor and CNRL. Get that? Saudi Arabia invested in the oil sands. If that doesn’t clue you into where the future of oil is, nothing will.
      And by the way, having read a good deal of Nikiforuk’s work and The Tyee’s publishings Nikiforuk is not an objective journalist and The Tyee is not an objective journal/website .

      • GoinFawr says:

        Hi Mike!
        Interesting about Saudi Arabia, but then PC’s have been renowned for selling off public assets to foreign royalty and/or private interests for pennies on the dollar. Now SA can have some bitumen to go with their Wheat Board!

        Not sure I agree with you about Mr.Nikiforuk’s work, perhaps you could cite some instances where he has disseminated falsehoods?

        Heh, when it comes to “objective journalism” I can’t help but recall the 2011 national election day’s cover on the Sun; If memory serves it had a big picture of Jack Layton with a headline accusing him of doing something nefarious at a massage parlour years before. The Journal didn’t pick up on that story, did it?

      • Carlos says:

        I also disagree about the Tyee and Nikiforuk’s work but that to me is not a surprise because I have disagreed with Mike in the past and I am actually amazed that Mike has said something negative about Jason Kenney when just before the election Mike thought Jason Kenney was going to brings stability and prosperity to Alberta. I personally think that even without Covid-19 we were destined to nothing at all and if anything, way more dependent on oil than ever before which was not very difficult to predict considering that JK had promised to eliminate the carbon tax and all the related Green Energy investment. So he did and along with their mind set on neo-liberal choking the economy mentality just made everything worse. Now his Savage minister is again showing their disdain for anything that is against their beliefs which are in my view pretty dogmatic and not effective at all.
        I would like to know in what way is the Tyee less reliable or objective than any of the mainstream Alberta Newspaper. The Edmonton Sun is the propaganda machine of the UCP and the Edmonton Sun is its second version.

    • Kelly says:

      I live an a rural Alberta riding where the UCP candidate took about 80% of the vote in the last election. The coffee shops are blanketed with the pro UCP, anti NDP Calgary Sun and anti-Trudeau discussion prevails. It is a land of irony where an unemployed welder from Ft. Mac is heading to work on TMX while blasting everything liberal and related to Trudeau. I bit my tongue while thinking that he was going to work for JT – or at least for the pipeline he purchased. It is very possible the UCP could win a second term in power just as Trump could win another term as POTUS. Those hoping and working for a better Alberta in ridings like this feel very alone.

      • Kelly, thanks for this peek into the mind of rural Alberta. The cognitive dissonance of the welder working on TMX while blasting Trudeau holds true here in Calgary as well.
        I wonder whether Kenney/Shandro’s attack on doctors will change the minds of rural voters. Kenney/Shandro gave back some of what they took away from the rural doctors, but they’ll never trust the UCP government again. The compensation cuts to urban doctors have been suspended until the covid crisis passes, so the minute the cuts are reinstated we can expect hordes of urban doctors to withdraw their services and leave the province as well. Although it’s an awful thing to be without a doctor, this might be enough to convince Calgarians who support the UCP that it’s time to ditch their party.
        I’ve noticed people can live with cognitive dissonance until they themselves are suffering, it’s only then that they stop to think about what’s really going on.

    • Bill, thanks for the link. Nikiforuk nails it. Why aren’t people rioting in streets? As you said, we don’t have a decent sized media, and what we do have is either so young and inexperienced or so old and hanging on until retirement, that no one wants to rock the boat. God forbid Kenney would pick up the phone and chew out the managing editor over an unflattering story.
      But even the right wing press isn’t good enough for the conservatives. I saw a clip on social media of Harper being interviewed by US TV. He was complaining that the left-wing media caused him to lose the 2015 election. He’s nuts, Postmedia issued an edict that all of its outlets had to endorse him, The Globe stood by him, saying hold your nose and vote for this man. What was he looking for, a sign from God.

      • Dwayne says:

        Susan: Even The Sun is controlled by Postmedia now. Even before that, they were very pro Conservative. I recall the Alberta PCs doing so many very costly debacles, ever since Peter Lougheed stopped being premier of Alberta. I recall before the 2015 provincial election in Alberta, where the $35 billion bitumen upgrader debacle came to light. The Sun never gave it front page coverage. It was briefly covered, further down in the newspaper. Their editorial board was stating that Albertans should vote for the Alberta PCs. In 2012, The Sun was endorsing Danielle Smith and the Wildrose. Before the 2019, provincial election in Alberta, Jason Kenney and the UCP got a full cover ad, endorsing them. In the last federal election, The Sun was endorsing Andrew Scheer. A drugstore cashier saw the paper I bought, and said that was wrong. I agreed. Further back in time, Rod Love, Ralph Klein’s right hand man, would chastise newspaper columnists, if they dared to criticize Ralph Klein’s policies. Mark Lisac was an excellent columnist, who took the Alberta PCs to task for their misdeeds. He was in the Edmonton Journal. He was let go. I have heard that David Climenhaga, who was with the Calgary Herald, didn’t have it easy under the Alberta PCs. Any criticism of the UCP in Alberta’s major newspapers is very weak, or hardly exists. One letter writer asked The Sun why they are so pro Conservative. The response given was freedom of the press. I don’t know what it will take for Albertans to wake up.

    • Carlos says:

      Bill the reason there has not been riots on the streets is just because many people and businesses agree with this Jason Kenney approach to take advantage of everyone and everything as long as you do not get caught attitude. This has been the motto of Neo-liberal manure for 3 decades along with less regulation and less oversight so that they can take as much profits as possible and pay nothing in return. We just witnessed the disgrace of less regulation and more privatization in elder care in Ontario where I am sure inspectors never visited these places or if they did, they thought the money under the table to close their eyes is much better than reporting these abominable conditions that our parents and grand parents have to face. To top it all Justin Trudeau uses the second world war as one reason to treat this generation well. Another sign of a Neo-Liberal mentality that has to justify everything as a commodity with value. Mr. Trudeau, the elderly deserve to be well treated because they are human beings and deserve respect PERIOD. They do not have to sacrifice to deserve a end of life with dignity.
      We have to get out of this rut of no taxes and no regulations and extreme greed and commodification of life if we want to have a decent society and display who we are as true human beings rather than the worse badly programmed robots.
      Now the premier of Ontario is disgusted with what was happening in these long term care facilities. Really? You had no clue? Never heard? or you did but did not act because cuts to everything to provide lower taxes to your friends in business was more important?
      Give me a break and lets start thinking rather than just follow absurd ideologies of more profit no matter what. We were born with a brain to think and critically rather than just accept garbage that right off the bat smells bad just because it is convenient and then after we are caught display this false disgust with reality.

      • CallmeHal2000 says:

        Carlos, Jason Kenney seems nonplussed about the lives of people over 60, the immune compromised and people with multiiple medical conditions. Anyone over 82 in Alberta? Jason Kenney is happy to write you off; you’ve already passed your Alberta lifespan anyways, don’t you know?

        I wouldn’t be surprised if his talk of building a “wall of defence” around seniors actually means building a physical wall, then rounding them all up and cementing them in. He is sounding…unstable. Covid-19 is the flu now? And isn’t he moving closer to 60 himself with each birthday?

        https://calgaryherald.com/opinion/braid-kenney-begins-to-normalize-covid-19-as-a-risk-mainly-to-the-elderly-almost-zero-danger-to-the-young/wcm/264d4e97-bd0e-42c8-8566-be9fcf69f8e7/

      • Carlos says:

        CallmeHal200

        Unfortunately it seems to be ingrained in society in general that the old are dispensable and cost a lot of money. Only when many people get there they realize that after all they are still alive and some are well enough to have a good life. Life is a complex journey and this kind of attitude is prevalent in many western countries if not all. Also in countries where people claim that they care for their elder things can change as soon as they reach and certain level of wealth and want to have more privacy and less responsibility over their parents. I do not think that is a bad idea but we have to pay taxes so that when we get old we can expect to have at least the basic standards of treatment and die with dignity. A good case is Japan where many old people commit suicide because they not only do not have the greatest care but families abandon them for simple reason like professional failure. Unfortunately now even old people are subject to profit taking and then cases like we see in Ontario are the result. If we leave that in the hands of Jason Kenney I can see a possibility of the cementing story you mention in your post.
        I am sure there will be plenty of discussions everywhere whether or not it was worth stop the economy in general to save a bunch of dying people anyway.
        We are all in it together of course. Following the example of our minister of energy Sonya Savage, lets take advantage of the Covid-19 while people do not notice and do our dirty work. This is the typical UCP mentality.

  6. Mike Priaro says:

    Beautifully elaborated, researched and detailed Susan – I would nominate your piece for a mini-Pulitzer were there one!. Here is my previously published, far less patient, take on the matter:

    TC Energy is the new moniker for TransCanada Pipelines which spent C$2 billion of shareholder (I am one) funds on pipe and construction costs to build Keystone XL before CEO Russ Girling had in hand the necessary presidential permit to cross the border with pipe.

    That pipe has now been sitting for years in fields rusting away. Your guess is as good as mine if it still meets pipeline specs.

    In March, Alberta premier Jason Kenney announced C$1.5 billion of taxpayer (I am one) dollars would be given, without consulting Albertans, to TC Energy to re-start construction of Keystone XL.

    Joe Biden, whom everyone has known for months would be the Democratic candidate for president of the U.S., has confirmed his statement that he will revoke the border crossing permit when elected. Biden has long objected to Keystone XL — even before Obama refused its presidential permit to cross the border.

    And does anyone really think Biden won’t win in a landslide against Trump? Oxford Economics, using a model based on the pioneering political-forecasting work of Yale economist Ray Fair that has predicted the winner of the popular vote in 16 of the past 18 elections, recently predicted Trump would lose to Democrat Joe Biden by a margin of 65% to 35%.

    Yet TC Energy is going ahead anyway and has completed a stretch of pipe across the border, an unwise middle finger at Biden, figuring Biden wouldn’t dare revoke the permit if there is pipe in the ground.

    Man are you wrong, once again, Mr. Girling, and you too Mr. Kenney!

    And man, am I tired of paying for your mistakes.

    • Thanks for sharing your piece with us Mike. There’s a tremendous amount of hubris in TC Energy’s and Kenney’s position. They appear to think they’ll be able to convince Biden to reverse course after he’s elected. This makes no sense. As you point out Biden has held this position for years, also Biden needs to unite the Democrats and this promise is critical if he hopes to gain the support of the Bernie Sanders/Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez crowd.
      The suggestion that getting as much of KXL in the ground as possible will be a factor in Biden’s decision is ridiculous. Notley had a good start on the Superlab in Edmonton but that didn’t stop Kenney from pulling the plug.
      This plus the fact that the covid crisis is nowhere near close to the end will make the next 6 months very grueling.

  7. ronmac says:

    Not to worry Alberta. In the upcoming election Joe Biden says he’s going to beat Joe Biden.

  8. J.E. Molnar says:

    It is often easier for the UCP to criticize opposition policies rather than to live up to their criticism themselves. Can you spell H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-S-Y.

    Both the UCP party and its bombastic leader repeatedly chastised the former NDP government with caustic comments that the NDP never campaigned on its “job-killing” carbon levy when it was elected in 2015 (despite a decade of environmental policy to the contrary). Fast forward to 2019. Where was the UCP’s declaration in their election platform that they would invest $7.5 billion in a pipeline, sell off provincial parks, chop fees to rural doctors, purge pension funds from teachers’ control and abrogate responsibility for publicly administered health care by quietly proposing privatization initiatives? Face it — it’s what Albertans have come to expect from a snake oil charlatan like Jason Kenney and his politically moribund party. We all need to work to change that in 2023.

    • GoinFawr says:

      “2023”, moan.

    • J.E. yes, Kenney’s insistence that Albertans gave him the “mandate” to do what he’s doing wears thin when you realize how much of what he’s doing was never part of his so-called mandate.
      What’s even more galling is when he gaslights Albertans, for example by arguing he has NOT chopped doctors’ compensation or teachers’ compensation because look at the budget, the allocation for doctors and teachers is exactly the same as it was last year, Um, yes, but that number doesn’t take inflation or population growth into account.
      You have to be dumb as a sack of hammers not to understand that, but apparently many UCP supporters are.

  9. Seems to me that Mr. K is in over his head. Keep writing, SoS, keep writing!

    On Sun., May 24, 2020, 6:32 p.m. Susan on the Soapbox wrote:

    > susanonthesoapbox posted: ” In September 2019 Jason Kenney began > negotiating with TC Energy to invest $7.5 billion in cash and loan > guarantees in the Keystone XL pipeline. In March 2020 Kenney announced > negotiations were complete and the government had signed an agreement which > ” >

    • GoinFawr says:

      First nations might do well to remind the rest that, as a rule, the mountains are ‘upstream’ for every Albertan that requires access to safe, clean, drinking water.

      eg. there is not much point in having a super-duper unbreakable, made in China with steel from Alberta high-quality steel comb if lead poisoning from your drinking water has made you BALD.

  10. Carlos says:

    Did any body believe that Jason Kenney was going to consult with First Nations about the coal mines? That would never happen. The respect these fascists have for anybody other than themselves is zero. We are witnessing that same approach in the US where police violence is atrocious. Those who still point fingers to China and Russian and the way they handle protests should look more to what has been happening here and the US where police is actually an army with different uniforms.

    • CallmeHal2000 says:

      All we have to do is to look to Japan, where mining companies left a legacy of illness in the waterways and soil that continues to plague residents with health problems more than 100 years later.

      I am not talking about Minamata disease (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minamata_disease), but itai-itai disease in Japan’s mountainous Toyama prefecture. It is one of the “Big Four” pollution legacies in Japan, but almost no one here has heard of it.

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Itai-itai_disease

      No one knew the effects right away. It took many decades before it was understood, and before the political wiil existed to do anything about it. A massive remediation effort removing contaminated soil began in the late 20th century. The disease still occurs today, although at far lower rates since remediation.

      Environmental monitoring and controls have been removed in Alberta. Is this the kind of thing we want for ourselves and our children? Aren’t orphan wells enough of a legacy? Do we really need heavy metals contaminating our sources of drinking water and downstream soil?

      So many questions, but it’s full steam ahead to unleash coal mining in formerly-protected sensitve areas without any committees or panels or scientific studies to assess risk. This is how little Kenney and the UCP care about Albertans. This is why doctors must be silenced. You can’t find what no one is looking for. Fast food and masks won’t protect us from what’s in the water.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s