By Robert Tuttle
The group is participating in meetings with the Canadian government and has spoken with Project Reconciliation, another organization of First Nations that seeks to own the oil pipeline currently being expanded in Alberta and British Columbia, Travis Meguinis, chief executive officer of Natural Law, said by phone. Meguinis didn’t say how big a stake or how much the group aims to invest.
The coalition of Western Canadian First Nations sprang to prominence late last year when it signed a memorandum of understanding with TC Energy Corp. to pursue an equity stake worth as much as C$1 billion ($799 billion) in Keystone XL. U.S. President Joe Biden rescinded a key permit for that pipeline on his first day in office and TC Energy scrapped the project a few months later.
British Columbia-based Western Indigenous Pipeline Group, which partnered with Pembina Pipeline Corp. in June, is also among other First Nations groups seeking a stake in Trans Mountain. Canada’s federal government bought Trans Mountain from Kinder Morgan Inc. for C$4.5 billion in 2018 after the company threatened to scrap the line’s expansion amid environmental opposition. The government has pledged to sell the system once the expansion is completed.
Alberta’s oil sands industry badly needs more conduits to export its crude, and many hope that indigenous participation will help quell objections to the project.