Reassessment of Need for the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project

Production forecasts, economics and environmental considerations
October 29, 2020
3.56 MB28 pages

This report concludes that the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project (TMX) is not needed to meet forecasted Canadian capacity needs. The author, J. David Hughes, also demonstrates that contrary to claims that bringing heavy oil to tidewater for export to Asia will fetch a higher price, it will likely instead sell at a loss of $4-$6 per barrel. 

Arguments for TMX look even worse in the context of Canada’s commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050 as TMX will exacerbate Canada’s emissions reduction problem by incentivizing additional oil production growth Hughes says, adding that as it stands Canada has no viable plan to even meet the Paris Agreement, let alone the federal government’s promise of net-zero emissions by 2050.

Hughes says the government’s claim that building TMX is necessary to provide funds to reduce emissions is not credible and that what Canada urgently needs instead is a viable energy strategy to meet both the future energy security needs of Canadians and its emissions reduction commitments.