Pipeline Observer

Billion$ for Kinder Morgan Shareholders and Execs, but what do Landowners Get?

Published in June, 2018

$4.5 BILLION Kinder Morgan Bailout Includes Millions More in Sweetheart Severance Deal for Execs

But what will TransMountain landowners get?

Kinder Morgan Canada president Ian Anderson and a vice president, David Safari, will each pocket a $1.5 million "bonus" for continuing to work at the new TransMountain Crown corporation for a couple of years.

The Trudeau Liberals' plan to nationalize the TransMountain pipeline will see taxpayers fork over $4.5 billion to Texas-based Kinder Morgan -- a total industry experts say is one or two billion dollars too generous.

But with the Trudeau government busy providing Kinder Morgan shareholders with billions in profit -- the company bought TransMountain for about HALF a billion a little over a decade ago -- complete with golden parachutes for Mr. Anderson and Mr. Safari, what can landowners expect?

Almost all of the easement agreements for TransMountain and TMX, the twinning project, we acquired by expropriation or the implicit or explicit threat of expropriation.  

The expropriator of course, was Ottawa's own energy regulator, the National Energy Board (NEB).

And now Ottawa is the new owner of hundreds of easement agreements with TransMountain landowners.

So landowners can expect a conflict of interest, for starters.

Crown corporations, as many CAEPLA members can tell you, treat landowners far worse than the worst private company on its worst day.  You need only look at the brutalization of farmers by Manitoba's Hydro Crown for proof.

So the regulator -- the alleged protector of stakeholders -- will be the same entity landowners and the public need protection from.  

And the question arises:  having bailed out the company and its executives well above market rates, can landowners -- who surrendered easements involuntarily for lowball compensation -- expect a bailout, too?

Believe it or not, the NEB will now have to approve the sale of TransMountain from KM to Ottawa.  Which might be a good time for landowners to fight for their property rights and demand fair easement agreements.