Activists have stepped up pressure on banks and insurers to drop financing and insurance for fossil fuel companies, leading to European companies like AXA and Zurich pulling back from underwriting coal and oil sands projects.
Trans Mountain has said it incurred higher costs last year due to dwindling insurance options.
CER decided that sharing the names of Trans Mountain’s insurers could make it harder to obtain insurance at a reasonable price, and that the names are commercial information. A Canadian government corporation owns and runs the pipeline.
Much of the oil Trans Mountain transports from Edmonton, Alberta to the British Columbia coast comes from Alberta’s oil sands – a focus of protests due to their high carbon emissions.
The regulator’s decision is troubling and makes it more difficult for indigenous groups to oppose such projects, said Charlene Aleck, spokesperson for Tsleil-Waututh Nation Sacred Trust Initiative.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce supported Trans Mountain’s request, saying in a letter to the CER that disclosing insurers would otherwise jeopardize the pipeline’s ability to secure affordable coverage for its required C$1 billion in liabilities.
The decision applies only to the pipeline that is currently operating, not an expansion project under construction.
Trans Mountain is nearly tripling capacity of the pipeline to carry 890,000 barrels of crude and refined products per day.