On Tuesday, Kinder Morgan announced that they would be haulting non-essential spending on their controversial Trans Mountain Tar Sands Pipeline. Then they issued an ultimatum to the Canadian government, and demanded it be met by May 31st.
And what does Kinder Morgan want? Only the silencing of their enemies and, oh yeah, a handout.
Effectively, Kinder Morgan wants the debate to end and the opposition to go home, despite the legal and jurisdictional challenges that have plagued the pipeline from the start. This gag order would apply to a 150 member First Nations Alliance, the government of British Columbia, and millions of people across the continental span who are standing with them.
We don’t see any of those folks packing it in.
Trudeau in hot water
The Federal and Alberta governments have made it their duty to do the bidding of big polluters. Trudeau was supposed to dance past the legitimate treaty claims of First Nations and the right of British Columbia to take reasonable actions to protect its coastal communities and economy, both of which are intimately tied to Canada’s natural beauty. Now he finds himself with 50 days to deliver on his promises.
As if that wasn’t audacious enough, they expect Canadians to help foot the bill.
Alberta’s Premier Rachel Notley leapt into action once the order came down, saying the Alberta government is interested in spending taxpayer money to meet Kinder Morgan’s demands. Whether this comes in the form of low-interest loans or sacks of cash, its a government subsidy for an unpopular project with potentially devastating ecological effects and uncertain economic benefits.
And – should their plan fail – Kinder Morgan is likely to sue Canada under provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
The company seems incapable of compromise.
Corporations like Kinder Morgan are incapable of elevating the needs of the earth, indigenous First Nations, local governance, and coastal communities. If your health, well-being, or livelihood comes into conflict with the interest of Kinder Morgan’s shareholders, shareholders win. If a sustainable ecological world comes into conflict with shareholder interest, shareholders win. In any case of people vs. profit, Kinder Morgan is firmly and unmovably advocates for profit.
We are just as unmovable in our advocacy for our ecosystem and its intertwined communities. Thousands of folks are energized and mobilized in one big international resistance to the Kinder Morgan Pipeline and the ecological threats it represents. The fossil fuel giant isn’t used to losing, and is tired of being stifled by people power over and over again.
Five years and $1.1 billion dollars later they have pulled back the curtain on the nice guy act and fully exposed their hand puppetry. The Federal and Alberta governments will be extremely motivated to placate KM before the May 31st decision.
We will be just as motivated to stop them.