China’s decision to set a timeline for eliminating new internal combustion vehicles is a nightmare for Kinder Morgan, the company proposing the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline in British Columbia, Greenpeace Canada climate and energy campaigner Keith Stewart writes in a blog post this week.
“This is bad news for Kinder Morgan, which has pitched its Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline as a way to reach the rapidly-growing Chinese market,” Stewart writes. Kinder “has publicly admitted that without growing demand for oil, its pipeline could be a money-loser.”
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers’ 2016 demand forecast cited International Energy Agency data to make the case for dramatic growth in oil demand through 2040, Stewart notes. And Kinder Morgan’s investors’ prospectus for the Trans Mountain project cited CAPP.
“Yet the figures provided in the CAPP report differ markedly from those issued by the China National Petroleum Corporation Economics and Technology Research Institute (CNPC), which is the in-house research arm of the state-owned oil company responsible for informing long-term strategy development,” Stewart notes. CNPC’s “current policies” scenario “has a much lower forecast for increased oil demand than in the CAPP/IEA forecast,” even though it only places EV ownership at 1.3% of China’s total fleet in 2030, growing to 11% in 2050.
“Saturday’s announcement indicates that the Chinese government is considering forcing significantly higher rates of electric vehicle adoption,” Stewart writes. “This would not only lower future Chinese oil demand,” but would “likely tilt the global marketplace in favour of electric vehicles,” while India considers an all-electric policy by 2030 and prepares to leapfrog the era of private car ownership.
After Greenpeace challenged its prospectus, Stewart notes, Kinder Morgan changed the text to acknowledge the business risks it faces in a shifting energy economy. “With market momentum firmly behind a rapid transition to an electrified transportation system powered by renewable energy,” he writes, “investors should be asking why Kinder Morgan is still pursuing the Trans Mountain expansion pipeline.”