Kenney fuelling oil war?

The recent Alberta election resulted in a change of government from the NDP to the United Conservative Party (UCP) under the leadership of now Premier Jason Kenney.

This election result has a unique B.C. connection, given one of Premier Kenney’s promises was that the UCP would immediately proclaim Bill 12.

Bill 12 is referred to as the “turn-off-the-taps” legislation intended to enable the Alberta government to restrict the flow of oil into British Columbia.

The bill is a retaliatory measure against the B.C. NDP government, which opposes the Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion project.

How would Bill 12 work?

Not by physically shutting down any pipeline.

Rather, it would require Alberta companies that export petroleum products to have special provincial licences.

The licences would allow for the government to impose restrictions on what products and quantity of product may be approved for export.

Although the Alberta government has indicated it will not immediately use this legislation, the B.C. government said it will challenge the constitutional validity of this bill and are seeking a court injunction.

A couple of questions are often raised.

What effect could this have on gas prices in B.C.?

If completed, how would the the expanded Trans-Mountain pipeline impact B.C. gas prices?

Here is the challenge.

The Trans-Mountain pipeline has to carry a range of different products. In other words, refined products, such as gasoline used by B.C. drivers passes through the same pipeline as the unrefined products, such as diluted bitumen.

Within the industry, this process is called “batching” and the Trans Mountain pipeline is the only one remaining in North America to still use this inefficient process.

If built, the expanded section of the Trans-Mountain pipeline would exclusively carry “heavy oils” such as diluted bitumen.

This allows for the existing section of the Trans-Mountain pipeline to be used exclusively for refined products that include gasoline.

It is expected that the increased supply and capacity of gasoline as a result of this project being completed will create lower gas prices, not withstanding increases from the carbon tax.

It would also have the positive benefit of reducing our energy reliance on American refined fuel.

The irony is that some of the same elected officials who support increasing the carbon tax on fossil fuels to, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has stated, “make better choices,” also support increasing the gasoline supply to protect drivers from being gouged at the pumps.

Last week, the Liberal government stated that it “can’t guarantee it will have a decision on the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion prior to the next election.”

This despite the fact Mr.Trudeau spent $4.5 billion to purchase the Trans-Mountain pipeline, calling the expansion “to be in Canada’s national interest.”

My question to you this week:

  • Do you support the expanded Trans-Mountain pipeline project?

I can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.


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About the Author

Dan Albas, Conservative member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, is the shadow minister of innovation, science, economic development and internal trade, and sits on the standing committee on finance.

Before entering public life, Dan was the owner of Kick City Martial Arts, responsible for training hundreds of men, women and youth to bring out their best.

In British Columbia, Dan has been consistently one of the lowest spending MPs on office and administration related costs despite operating two offices to better serve local constituents.

Dan is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 most active members of Parliament on Twitter (@danalbas) and continues to write a weekly column published in many local newspapers and on this website.

He can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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