Alberta getting ready to restrict export of oil and gas resources

Ann Santiago
April 18, 2018

Yesterday, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Energy Minister Margaret McQuaig-Boyd rolled out Bill 12, rather tendentiously dubbed the Preserving Canada's Economic Prosperity Act, the sole goal of which seems to be to squeeze residents of B.C.'s Lower Mainland till their pips squeak if they and their NDP government won't get out of the way of Alberta's demand for a fat new pipeline to carry our diluted bitumen to the Pacific Ocean, and pronto. "The B.C. Premier (John Horgan) created this crisis, will he fix this mess before gas prices hit $2 a litre?"

Restrictions could be imposed on the methods in which they are shipped, including by pipeline, truck or train.

The existing Trans Mountain system is a major conduit for both crude oil and refined products heading to B.C. The pipeline can carry about 300,000 bpd, and the expansion at the heart of the inter-provincial dispute would almost triple that figure to 890,000 bbl.

Attorney General David Eby later recalled the Notley cabinet's explicit warnings they were going to inflict pain on B.C.

D'Avignon pointed out that Alberta and B.C. have the most integrated economies in Canada and if costs rise in B.C., it will affect the cost of trade goods going to Alberta and the cost to ship Alberta products such as grain from West Coast ports.

Trudeau also promised to deploy financial and legislative tools to ensure the project goes ahead and said the pipeline expansion is of 'vital strategic interest to Canada'.

The company said it would consult with stakeholders before May 31 in hopes of protecting shareholders and gaining clarity on its ability to construct the pipeline through B.C.

"We can not and we will not let that stand", she said. The Alberta and federal governments dispute the BC claim.

An expert in Canadian constitutional law says both B.C. and Alberta do have the power to make laws about what goes inside pipelines... but neither can do it for political purposes.

Ervin said cutting off light oil supplies through Trans Mountain would hurt Alberta-based Parkland Fuels Corp., which bought the 55,000-barrel-per-day Burnaby refinery previous year and has enjoyed good margins thanks to its access to low-priced Alberta feedstock.

Trudeau met with Notley and Horgan on Sunday and said Ottawa has joined negotiations with Alberta to buy a stake in Trans Mountain, if necessary, to see that it gets built.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers supports the efforts by Alberta and the federal government to get the Trans Mountain expansion built, President Tim McMillan said in an interview.

The organisation said that already capital investment has been flowing south to the US and to other worldwide markets - and that means lost jobs for Albertans and Canadians, lost revenue for innovation and technology development, lost tax revenues for social programs, health care and education.

The bill doesn't actually mention "B.C.", but the references to Alberta don't leave much doubt about what it's created to do.

"Even if you spend hundreds of millions of dollars and go through the regulatory process to get a project approved, there's still no guarantees the rule of law will be followed, so we need to clear that up", he said. This really is the term Orman used to describe well-behaved B.C. protesters like Green Party Leader Elizabeth May.

Chief Bob Chamberlin said Kinder Morgan, the Texas-based company behind the Trans Mountain pipeline, needs consent of all First Nations along the route, and that they do not have it. The power would be kept in reserve, ready for immediate use to fight any escalation of British Columbia (BC) government resistance against Trans Mountain.

The result was a new agreement with Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau that allowed Alberta to retain ownership of its resources along with a more amenable pricing schedule. The impact of the reference question on Kinder Morgan's sense of "certainty" is the proximate cause of this 10-week interprovincial pipeline brouhaha.

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