Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Dear Common Dreams Readers:
Corporations and billionaires have their own media. Shouldn't we? When you “follow the money” that funds our independent journalism, it all leads back to this: people like you. Our supporters are what allows us to produce journalism in the public interest that is beholden only to people, our planet, and the common good. Please support our Mid-Year Campaign so that we always have a newsroom for the people that is funded by the people. Thank you for your support. --Jon Queally, managing editor

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

Greenpeace activists unfurl banners after building a wood and card 'oil pipeline' outside the Canadian High Commission, Canada House, to protest against the Trudeau government's plans to build an oil pipeline in British Columbia on April 18, 2018 in London. (Photo: Chris J. Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

'Cancel This Project': Price Tag of Trans Mountain Expansion Nearly Doubles

One campaigner called on Canada's government to instead "put all of our energy and political will into a just transition that leaves fossil fuels in the ground and supports people, communities, and workers."

Jessica Corbett

Climate activists on Friday renewed calls for canceling the expansion of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline after the Canadian government responded to the project's soaring cost by pledging not to put any more public money into it.

"Trans Mountain is an absolute dumpster fire and it's outrageous that it's been allowed to carry on on the public dime all this time."

"Trans Mountain never made any sense to build during a climate crisis," Emma Jackson, senior Canada organizing specialist with 350.org, said of the federally owned infrastructure. "Now, after a year where the pipeline was delayed by climate-fueled fires, heat, floods, and landslides, the government is pulling funding while the price tag has skyrocketed to $21.4 billion."

"This is the moment to cancel this project outright," she declared, "and put all of our energy and political will into a just transition that leaves fossil fuels in the ground and supports people, communities, and workers."

Climate campaigner Peter McCartney concurred in a statement from the Wilderness Committee.

"Everyone warned the federal government not to buy this cursed pipeline and anybody who has been tracking construction knows costs have spiraled out of control," McCartney said. "It's long past time for the federal government to put the shovels down, look at the evidence, and walk away from the project."

Trans Mountain Corporation (TMC) announced Friday that the price tag of the pipeline expansion has nearly doubled from an earlier estimate of $12.6 billion.

As Canada's Global News reports:

The company blamed the cost increases on the Covid-19 pandemic and the effects of the November 2021 flooding in British Columbia, as well as project enhancements, route changes to avoid culturally and environmentally sensitive areas, and scheduling pressures related to permitting processes and construction challenges in difficult terrain.

The company has also pushed back the projected completion date of the project to the third quarter of 2023. The pipeline expansion was originally expected to be complete sometime this year.

TMC is a subsidiary of a crown corporation—a federally owned organization structured like a private company—that controversially purchased the pipeline from Texas-based Kinder Morgan in 2018, earning Prime Minister Justin Trudeau widespread condemnation.

Shortly after the new cost estimate was revealed Friday, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement that the government "will spend no additional public money on the project" and TMC "will instead secure the funding necessary to complete the project with third-party financing, either in the public debt markets or with financial institutions."

"The government has engaged both BMO Capital Markets and TD Securities to provide advice on financial aspects of the project," she continued, claiming the analyses show public financing "is a feasible option" and the expansion "remains commercially viable."

Freeland added the Canadian government "does not intend to be the long-term owner" and "intends to launch a divestment process after the expansion project is further de-risked and after economic participation with Indigenous groups has progressed."

McCartney asked, "Who in their right minds would lend money to this company when construction costs have exploded to four times the original estimate of $5.4 billion to $21.4 billion today?"

"Trans Mountain is an absolute dumpster fire," he said, "and it's outrageous that it's been allowed to carry on on the public dime all this time."

"Investors have gotten far more climate savvy in recent years. I cannot see them lining up behind a project that's so obviously out of line with where the world is going," he added. "Could this finally be the end of the Trans Mountain pipeline?"


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

"I'm sure this will be all over the corporate media, right?"
That’s what one longtime Common Dreams reader said yesterday after the newsroom reported on new research showing how corporate price gouging surged to a nearly 70-year high in 2021. While major broadcasters, newspapers, and other outlets continue to carry water for their corporate advertisers when they report on issues like inflation, economic inequality, and the climate emergency, our independence empowers us to provide you stories and perspectives that powerful interests don’t want you to have. But this independence is only possible because of support from readers like you. You make the difference. If our support dries up, so will we. Our crucial Mid-Year Campaign is now underway and we are in emergency mode to make sure we raise the necessary funds so that every day we can bring you the stories that corporate, for-profit outlets ignore and neglect. Please, if you can, support Common Dreams today.

 

Ilhan Omar Says Plan to Fix Supreme Court Must Include Impeachment Probes

"We need an impeachment investigation into Clarence Thomas' role in the January 6th coup, as well as into Gorsuch, Alito, Barrett, and Kavanaugh's testimony on Roe during their confirmation hearings," said the Minnesota Democrat.

Jake Johnson ·


Right-Wing Justices Should Be Impeached for Lying Under Oath, Says Ocasio-Cortez

"We have a responsibility to protect our democracy," said the New York Democrat. "That includes holding those in power who violate the law accountable."

Kenny Stancil ·


'Infuriating': Biden Rebuked for Continued Opposition to Supreme Court Expansion

"What does Biden 'agree' with doing?" Mehdi Hasan asked. "What does the leader of this country want to do to stop the increasingly fascistic assault on our democratic institutions and basic rights?"

Kenny Stancil ·


'We Need Action': Biden, Democrats Urged to Protect Abortion Access in Post-Roe US

"The Supreme Court doesn't get the final say on abortion," Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Tina Smith wrote in a new op-ed.

Kenny Stancil ·


Motorist 'Tried to Murder' Abortion Rights Advocates at Iowa Protest, Witnesses Say

Although one witness said the driver went "out of his way" to hit pro-choice protestors in the street, Cedar Rapids police declined to make an arrest.

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo