Several environmental extremists were arrested for blocking gates at Kinder Morgan’s Richmond CA terminal on July 31. Purportedly, they were protesting construction of Kinder Morgan’s new Trans Mountain pipeline in Canada.

When completed, the project would triple the capacity of an existing Canadian pipeline running from Edmonton AB to Burnaby BC—an increase to 890,000 barrels per day. This project is based on the extraction of tar sands oil.

Anti-industry groups apparently blame California's new cap and trade climate bill AB 398 with making it possible to move the Canadian oil to California refineries. AB 398 passed in the California state legislature despite opposition from disparate climate and environmental extremists. The new law limits the ability of local air quality agencies to establish extreme environmental rules and creates opportunities to refine tar sands crude in California refineries like the one in Richmond.

Kinder Morgan is one of North America’s largest energy infrastructure companies. The company has said it will start construction on its 715-mile Trans Mountain pipeline in September.