Federal, Alberta governments 'confident' Kinder Morgan deal will pass U.S. security screen
'We are very confident that this is not a major hurdle that we cannot overcome'
The federal and Alberta governments say they are not worried about a provision in the Trans Mountain pipeline purchase agreement that requires the U.S. to sign off on the deal on national security grounds.
"We've known all along that that was part of the terms of the agreement for sale and so it is not new news for us," Alberta Premier Rachel Notley told reporters west of Edmonton Friday.
"There's a process by which these kinds of deals have to go through, and everything is on track with respect to that process, and we don't anticipate any reason for it to go off track."
As CBC first reported this week, the completion of the deal is contingent in part on getting clearance from the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States, a U.S. inter-agency committee chaired by Steven Mnuchin, Trump's treasury secretary.
The purpose of the committee, also known as the CFIUS, is to review transactions that could have an effect on the national security of the United States.
The deal is subject to a CFIUS review because the agreement includes the acquisition of the Puget Sound pipeline, a short spur line off the existing Trans Mountain system that transports Canadian crude oil from Abbotsford, B.C. to refineries in Washington state.
The Canadian government confirmed to CBC that Kinder Morgan and Canada have made a joint voluntary filing to the CFIUS and that it is being reviewed by the committee.
'Not a major hurdle'
Earlier Friday, Notley, Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi and Kinder Morgan Canada President Ian Anderson attended a Cree blessing and groundbreaking ceremony on First Nation land near Stony Plain, Alta.
The site will be used to store all of the construction materials and equipment — including pipe, fittings, valves and bends — needed to construct a section of the Trans Canada pipeline.
After the blessing, Sohi, Notley and Anderson said they were not concerned about the national security provision in the purchase agreement.
"This is (a) normal process. We voluntarily entered into the process with the federal government collectively to obtain this approval. It's followed the normal course, the filings have been submitted in the normal course and we expect it to be concluded in the coming weeks," Anderson told reporters.
Sohi said he's also confident the process is routine and that the project will get through it unscathed.
"Our focus is to make sure this pipeline gets built because it's going to create thousands of well paying jobs for Albertans, for British Columbians, for Canadians, and we are going to do it in a very responsible way," he said.
"That is where our focus is and we are very confident that this is not a major hurdle that we cannot overcome."
With files from CBC Edmonton, Brennan MacDonald and Vassy Kapelos