Trudeau’s Bad Bailout: Making a Bigger Mess of TransMountain Tar Sands Pipeline

The Trudeau government has announced a plan for the Canadian government to buy Kinder Morgan’s existing 300,000 bpd TransMountain tar sands pipeline and the 550,000 bpd expansion project this morning, even as the pipeline was shutdown after spilling over the weekend. The pipeline and its controversial expansion plans have faced mounting opposition from the provincial government in British Columbia, wide swaths of the Canadian public and First Nations that had left Kinder Morgan publicly contemplating an end to the project.

Following is reaction from Anthony Swift, Director of the Canada Program and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC):

“The TransMountain tar sands pipeline was a bad idea from the get-go, but this federal buyout is a breathtaking misstep by Trudeau’s government.

“Canada’s purchase of a tar sands pipeline and expansion project eviscerates any claim it has to climate leadership at a key moment—doubling down on the world’s dirtiest oil, rather than closing the gap on the country’s Paris climate commitments. The staunch opposition of British Columbia and Indigenous communities to this project is wholly appropriate, given the spill risks associated with the tar sands project. The Trudeau government is underwriting a risky and misguided project, one for which Canadians and the world will be stuck with the bill for generations to come.”

For more information this announcement, please see the blog by Josh Axelrod, Manager of Fossil Fuels and Climate Policy for the Canada Project:

NRDC and a coalition of Canadian groups warned Kinder Morgan that the project could face Endangered Species Act suit in the United States due to impacts on marine mammals in the Pacific:


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.​