A very recent article in the Financial Post caught my jaundiced eye not so much for what it said but who it was about. The article noted: “Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP launched a $13.5-billion hostile takeover bid for Calgary-based midstream company Inter Pipeline Ltd. to take the company private.” The striking point of this opening sentence seemed odd in that Brookfield with over $500 billion in assets under management had announced back in August of last year that none other than Mark Carney former Governor of the Bank of England had been appointed, “Vice-Chair and Head of Environment, Social and Governance, known as “ESG,” as well as impact fund investing.”
The attempt at a hostile takeover of Inter Pipeline Ltd by Brookfield seemed incongruous with Carney now ensconced in his new position. Did he bless this “fossil fuel” related hostile acquisition bid under his new ESG “accounting” rules? Wasn’t he recently all preachy on BBC about us all having to exit fossil fuels or we will all die of “climate change”?
Anybody who has had a serious look at Brookfield and its numerous entities dating back to it’s founding 120 years ago, will be impressed at the international reach it commands and gain a rough understanding of how it has created numerous multi-millionaires and billionaires along the way. An article from February 2020 in the FT partially highlights its organizational complexities!
One of Brookfield’s offshoots; Brookfield Renewable Partners has investments in hydro. wind, solar and storage in Canada and elsewhere. Back in 2016 they sold one of their subsidiaries; Great Lakes Power transmission lines to Hydro One for $373 million. That inspired Hydro One to apply to the OEB for a revenue increase which they were granted.
Brookfield Infrastructure Partners already has investments in significant oil and gas storage and processing infrastructure in Alberta and Inter Pipeline Ltd. operates oilsands pipelines connecting northeastern Alberta with the Edmonton and Hardisty oil storage So, one should wonder why would Brookfield add Carney to their roster when he is reputedly anti fossil fuels? Will he execute an ESG report on their behalf thereby blessing these investments? Stay tuned!
Coincidently Brookfield Renewable Partners just held its fourth quarter conference call and the CEO Connor Teskey was excited! “The company generated a market-mashing 91% total return in 2020 and has now produced annualized total returns of 20% since its formation two decades ago.” Teskey went on to say; “We look forward to a multidecade opportunity to advance decarbonization and assist with the transition of global electricity grids to a more sustainable future,” he said. “Advancing the transition to a lower-carbon future will require substantial capital, in excess of $100 trillion over the next three decades.” Teskey suggests wind and solar generation as a means to achieve the transition!
One should suspect this will spawn the creation of more “Laurentian Elites” while increasing energy poverty?
Pure speculation on my part but, with the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline in process and utilizing billions of taxpayer dollars one should ask, has our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, struck some kind of deal with Brookfield to sell them the pipeline once its finally completed and at what price?
Don’t be surprised if and when that happens, Trudeau will simply wave an ESG report Mark Carney will happily provide to assert the claim; it is contributing to Canada reaching “net-zero” emissions by 2050 and supports the Circular Economy.