Don’t turn Canada into ‘Enron North’

Calling Prime Minister Trudeau…

Hi Justin,

This is Wayne Froese calling from Chilliwack B.C.

I’m one of countless Canadians that oppose the Kinder Morgan Pipeline project. I’m also part of a possibly-smaller group that understands the economic folly in your government’s plans to bail out this project. We hear a lot about the politics and the environmental aspects, but very little about the weak economics.

While I am not a supporter of the federal Conservative party, leader Andrew Scheer had it right when he responded to your announcement Tuesday by saying “today’s decision does nothing to advance the project, since the legal questions and barriers still remain.”

The real obstacles have been – and continue to be regardless of your announced plan – in the courts and on the ground. Kinder Morgan understood this when they announced their deadline back in April. They sought a parachute for themselves, recognizing for some time now that the economic case for their pipeline dream had evaporated. We saw anecdotal evidence of that when a $1.75 billion stock offering last year, was used to pay down company debt instead of finance the pipeline. Have you asked the company why that was so? Have you asked yourself why Canadian taxpayers should gamble on this venture, when oil stakeholders will not?

Calling #KMX “in the national interest” does not make it so. Certainly not economically. Even if something close to the 15,000 jobs claimed actually materialized (at a peak of a few months, not years, certainly not permanently) we would still be buying a dead horse.

The collapse of Enron corporation in the U.S. came about after years of spin from the company to hide the fact they had no economic case for existing. Remember that Enron was an “energy company” involved in but not limited to, fossil fuel pipelines. And it imploded in spectacular fashion. Ultimately it cost the American public over $7 billion, with absolutely nothing to show for it. (Meanwhile Richard Kinder purchased Enron’s pipeline assets for pennies on the dollar and Kinder Morgan was born.) There are ominous parallels between that outcome, and the path you are proposing to take Canada down.

Can you really not see how, by not learning from history, you are doing your best to repeat it?

Please, don’t make Canada into Enron North.

Wayne Froese

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