Energy shippers trepidatious on Alberta plan to control oil and gas exports

Energy shippers trepidatious on Alberta plan to control oil and gas exports

Export licences would be required for every company but only if the energy minister determines it's in the public interest to ensure: adequate pipeline capacity is available to maximize the return on resources, supply is maintained for Alberta's needs now and into the future. Those who fail to comply with the act could face fines of up to $1 million a day for individuals, and $10 million a day for corporations.

Existing pipelines are near capacity and the bill aims to give Alberta the power to adjust what is shipped and where it goes to ensure maximum profitability, she said.

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.

But the B.C. government says the expansion and seven-fold increase in oil tanker traffic in coastal waters poses environmental and economic risks that are too great.

Notley said the proposed legislation is not punishing B.C. for the Kinder Morgan project's delay, which she says costs Canada $40 million a day in lost revenue due to market bottlenecks and higher shipping fees.

"I remain confident that we will not have to use it", Notley said.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the bill's introduction to the Legislative Assembly, Notley described the bill as in defence of the energy industry, and as a response to roadblocks set up by B.C.

On Monday, B.C. Attorney General David Eby rejected that characterization, arguing it was clear that Alberta was targeting B.C., and threatening to take legal action over what he suggested was an illegal and unconstitutional move. "But I'm also making sure we are ready".

Alberta United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney said he's glad the government appears to have followed the party's suggestion to "turn off the taps", to demonstrate real economic consequences. "The powers in this legislation are not powers Alberta wants to use, but we will do so if it means long-term benefit for the industry, for Alberta and for Canada".

"The economies of B.C. and Alberta are arguably the most interdependent of any two provinces in Canada", said Ken Peacock, the chief economist at the Business Council of British Columbia, in a report past year.

Alberta's minister of energy will have sweeping discretionary powers to limit exports of crude, natural gas and gasoline to B.C. under much-anticipated legislation introduced Monday. Horgan is seeking ways to block it, concerned about oil spills along the Pacific Coast.

The Kinder Morgan project would triple the amount of oil shipped on the current line, but has faced repeated court challenges and permit delays.

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.

Kinder Morgan's existing Trans Mountain pipeline supplies Vancouver and the surrounding region with as much as 60 percent of its refined products, as well as the area's only refinery, the 55,000 barrel-per-day facility owned by Parkland Fuel.

"That might be the point at which we're going to have to be a lot more strategic around what products get shipped to what markets by what means", she said.

The Alberta Premier said Section 92 of Canada's constitution allows the province to have control of exports and imports.

Alberta is building on precedent.

During its throne speech, the government said it would not hesitate to take action similar to what Premier Peter Lougheed did in the past.

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