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article imageAlberta unveils legislation designed to cripple B.C. citizens

By Karen Graham     Apr 16, 2018 in Politics
Premier John Horgan was assured by Prime Minister Trudeau the federal government would not punish B.C. citizens over the Trans Mountain dispute, but that promise did not include Alberta - which has unveiled legislation that will cripple B.C.
The Alberta government has introduced legislation that would give the energy minister, Marg McCuaig-Boyd the power to restrict the flow of oil, gasoline and natural gas leaving the province, reports 660 News.
Bill 12, titled "Preserving Canada's Economic Prosperity Act," gives the Alberta government the ability to retaliate against the B.C. government for any delays to the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, including driving up gas prices, and restricting exports to the province that would include gasoline, oil, diesel and natural gas. The bill passed the First Reading on Monday.
"We are very committed to putting pressure on B.C. to come around and focus on what this pipeline actually means," Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said.
The legislation, if passed, will give Alberta's energy minister the power to require companies to get "permits to ship oil and refined products such as gasoline and diesel – as the government determines necessary." This is something totally new because, in the past, firms were not required to get permits to ship or deliver energy products. Corporations that violate terms of a license face a fine of $10 million a day.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley was quoted by the Globe and Mail as saying the legislation is all about getting the best price for Alberta’s bitumen and refined products ' but it's also about sending a message to British Columbia.
According to the National Energy Board, most of the gasoline used in B.C. comes via the existing Trans Mountain pipeline. Notley told reporters she hoped the legislation would not have to be used, saying it was less about punishing the western province and more about Alberta having "strategic control" over its resources.
The big May 31 deadline is key
Notley also cited the May 31 deadline given by Kinder-Morgan last weekend for keeping the project alive. Notley said if on May 31 her province is seeing significant investor uncertainty about the prospects of any increased pipeline capacity being built, “then 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.”
This might also force Alberta to divert crude oil shipments to rail and truck to free up the pipeline for bitumen. Af course, Alberta would love to see John Horgan deep in political turmoil if this were to happen because while gasoline prices are already rising in B.C., they would go up sharply if the pipeline was turned off at the source.
More about Alberta, Bill 12, restrict flow of gas and oil, British columbia, trans mountain pipeline
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