Alberta passes legislation that could let province cut oil to BC over Trans Mountain pipeline dispute
Canada May 16, 2018 8:57 pm Updated: May 16, 2018 9:06 pm Alberta passes legislation that could let province cut oil to B.C. over Trans Mountain pipeline dispute
- A A + Listen
Alberta has passed landmark legislation giving it sweeping power to intervene in oil and gas exports that could result in punitive price spikes in British Columbia in the dispute over the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion.
Premier Rachel Notley wonât say when and how the power will be used, but said she wonât wait long.
âAlberta will be equipped with new tools to assert our rights to control the flow of our resources to British Colu mbia,â Notley said Wednesday prior to Bill 12 passing third and final reading.
âAlbertans, British Columbians and all Canadians should understand that if the path forward for the pipeline through B.C. is not settled soon, Iâm ready and prepared to turn off the taps.â
READ MORE: Alberta to pass Bill 12 Wednesday; Notley âprepared to turn off the tapsâ over Trans Mountain
Watch below: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said her NDP government is prepared to turn off the taps over the Trans Mountain pipeline dispute.
The bill would give Alberta the power to intervene in the energy market, to decide how much fuel is sent and by what means, be it by rail or pipeline.
B.C. Premier John Horgan called the Alberta law provoc ative.
âInstead of asking how can we work together on this, they took aggressive action,â he said in Chilliwack, B.C.
Watch below: John Horgan said it was an âunprecedented dayâ on Wednesday, calling comments by Kinder Morgan and the federal government âprovocativeâ and labelling Alberta legislation to turn off the taps as âunconstitutional.â
Story continues below
B.C. Attorney General David Eby, in a letter, said legislation designed to inflict harm on another province violates the constitution.
He urged Alberta Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley to first run the bill past the courts to confirm its legality.
âIn the absence of such a commitment, I intend to instruct counsel to bring an action challenging its constitu tional validity in the courts of Alberta,â said Eby.
âBill 12 is a step back towards trying to resolve differences through threats of economic harm.â
READ MORE: B.C. government threatens to sue Alberta over âturn off the tapsâ legislation
Cutting oil flow to B.C. is expected to cause price spikes in gas at the pumps along with other related fuel fees.
But Notley said itâs justified legislation, given that Alberta is losing billions of dollars due to transportation bottlenecks and the fact that B.C. is frustrating the federally approved Trans Mountain project.
âWith pipeline capacity stretched to the limit, Albertans have the right to choose how our energy is shipped,â said Notley.
âAlberta has the right to act in the public interest.â
The Trans Mountain expansion would triple the amount of oil flowing from Alberta to tankers on the B.C. coast.
Notley said Alberta oil sells at a discount because of tight pipeline capacity and because most of it goes to the United States. A better price could be fetched on overseas markets.
The $7.4-billion project was approved by Prime Minister Justin Trudeauâs government in 2016, but since then has been hamstrung by permit delays and court challenges in B.C.
Horgan has said his government remains concerned about the effects of spills on the inland waterways and coastline.
The pipeline owner, Texas-based Kinder Morgan, has scaled back spending on the line and has given Trudeauâs government until May 31 to show that there is a way to complete it.
The Alberta and federal governments have committed to backstopping the project with public dollars if thatâs what it takes to make sure itâs completed.
Earlier Wednesday, federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau said those talks continue. He said if Kinder Morgan wants to abandon the expansion, there are plenty of other investors willing to step up.
Notleyâs bill echoes similar legislation passed in Alberta a generation ago in the early 1980s in a dispute with Ottawa over oil ownership and pricing.
Â© 2018 The Canadian PressReport an error
'All I knew was that I couldnât walk anymore:â Canadians living with MS
Multiple sclerosis in Canada: Understanding why MS rates are the highest here
EXCLUSIVE: Canada's plan for managing the return of ISIS fighters revealed in documents
2018 Ontario election promise tracker: Here's what the Liberals, PCs, NDP and Greens have pledged so far
Tick forecast 2018: Experts predict more Lyme disease in Canada
Plain legal pot packaging not doing Canadian consumers any favours, report says
Documents reveal internal debate over threat of Canadian right wing extremism
More Weekly FlyersSource: Google News