The Kinder Morgan Pipeline and Canada’s Chances of Cutting Total Emissions by 2030

This essay is based on my submission to the Ministerial Panel for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project on August 17, 2016 in Vancouver. This version is slightly expanded and revised, principally to take into account the fact that, a few days after the public meeting, the B.C. government released a new Climate Leadership Plan.

The specific focus of this paper is an examination of the Kinder Morgan pipeline emissions assessment report, which was published on May 19, 2016 by the Government of Canada. The report is officially called the Review of Related Upstream Greenhouse Gas Emissions Estimates for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project.

The broader and more fundamental question I am addressing is whether the currently projected expansion of oil sands production between 2014 and 2040 is compatible with Canada meeting its emissions reduction targets for 2030. This essay also looks at the process followed by the Kinder Morgan assessment: how the evidence was selected, who participated in the process, the way the assessment framed the questions it asked – and the questions it did not ask.