Alberta getting ready to restrict export of oil and gas resources

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Above: Premier Notley and Minister McCuaig-Boyd announce new legislation giving Alberta the power to control the oil and gas resources that belong to all Albertans.

by Morinville News Staff

After protests to the Trans Mountain pipeline, Kinder Morgan’s announcement it was suspending non-essential spending, and an emergency meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the premiers of British Columbia and Alberta on Sunday, the government of Alberta put down new legislation, saying it is acting to defend its energy industry.

The province has introduced the Preserving Canada’s Economic Prosperity Act, new legislation it says would give the province the power it needs to restrict the export of natural gas, crude oil and refined fuels across its borders.

“This is about protecting the jobs and livelihoods of thousands of Albertans and our ability to keep Canada working,” said Premier Rachel Notley in a news release Monday. “It’s simple – when Alberta works, Canada works. We did not start this fight, but let there be no doubt we will do whatever it takes to build this pipeline and get top dollar in return for the oil and gas products that are owned by all Albertans.”

The government says the British Columbia government’s roadblocks have caused uncertainty and hurt investor confidence, caused pipeline delays, and the loss of millions of dollars in revenue every day.

Currently, approximately 80,000 barrels of refined fuels goes to B.C. daily through a variety of transportation.

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

Bill 12 – Preserving Canada’s Economic Prosperity Act – would give the province the power it says it needs to restrict the export of crude oil, natural gas and refined fuels.

The Bill would give government authority to require companies to obtain a licence before exporting energy products from Alberta via pipeline, rail or truck, including: natural gas, crude oil, gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.

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 currently and into the future.

The government may issue export licences for amounts lower than what was exported previously.

“Every day, we’re leaving money on the table due to a lack of pipeline capacity, and that needs to stop,” said Alberta’s Minister of Energy – Margaret McCuaig-Boyd. “We’ve said all along there would be no surprises for our energy sector, and we’ve engaged with them throughout this process. 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 government says companies that do not comply with the licence terms could see fines of up to $10 million per day, $1 million per day for individuals.

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