To the Senate of the United States:
I transmit herewith, for Senate advice and consent to ratification, the Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Canada Concerning Transit Pipelines signed at Washington on January 28, 1977. I also transmit, for the information of the Senate, the report of the Department of State with respect to the Agreement, including copies of letters exchanged at the time the draft text of the Treaty was initialed.
The Agreement was negotiated in response to a request made by the Congress in the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act (P.L. 93-153) that the President determine the willingness of the Government of Canada to permit the construction of pipelines across Canada to carry oil and gas from Alaska's North Slope to markets in the lower 48 states, the terms and conditions which might apply to the operation of such pipelines and the need for intergovernmental agreements for this purpose. The Agreement negotiated in response to this request provides reciprocal protection against interruption in the flow of hydrocarbons in transit, and against discriminatory taxation. The Agreement is applicable both to existing and future pipelines transiting the United States and to future pipelines transiting Canada.
It became clear early in the negotiations that the Government of Canada was not prepared to conclude an arrangement which granted advance approval to a specific pipeline project. Consequently, the Agreement was drafted without reference to the specific proposals which have been made for the construction of pipelines to transport gas from Alaska's North Slope to the lower 48 states. Its provisions would be applicable to both existing and future transit pipelines.
The Agreement does not constitute Canadian approval of construction of a transit pipeline across its territory. Upon completion of studies currently in progress, the Government of Canada will announce whether or not it is willing to permit construction of a transit pipeline for Alaskan gas.
The Transit Pipeline Agreement provides a formal basis for United States-Canadian cooperation on hydrocarbon transportation systems, should both governments decide cooperation is advantageous. I urge the Senate to act favorably on this Agreement at an early date by giving its advice and consent to ratification.
The White House,
March 30, 1977.