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Alberta Premier Rachel Notley upped the ante on the Trans Mountain oil pipeline by saying the provincial government was prepared to go all the way and buy the whole project if Kinder Morgan decided to drop it.
Earlier this week, following a statement from Kinder Morgan that it will drop Trans Mountain if it receives no clarity on its viability by the end of May, Notley said Alberta is prepared to invest in the project to make sure it goes ahead. Now, the province seems to be ready to fully take financial responsibility for Trans Mountain.
That’s not all, however. In her statement Monday, Notley had a clear message for British Columbia’s government—the reason Kinder Morgan is considering the suspension of the project and the reason the federal cabinet yesterday held an emergency meeting to weigh its options in what is turning into a real political crisis.
This is what Notley had to say to B.C. PM John Horgan: “Premier Horgan believes he can harass this project without economic consequences for his province. He is wrong. We will be bringing forward legislation in coming days giving our government the powers it needs to impose serious economic consequences on B.C. if its government continues on its present course.”
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Horgan, for his part, said Alberta’s Premier can do whatever she wants within the borders of her province. “If she wants to invest in a pipeline that’s her business. I would prefer she invest in refining capacity,” he said as quoted by the Edmonton Journal.
The problem for B.C. is that what Notley and her government decide to do within the borders of their province will have an impact—a potentially very serious one—on British Columbia. If Alberta’s parliament approves the bill proposing to reduce the flow of oil to B.C., Horgan and his government will be hard pressed to continue its pipeline opposition. Such legislation would be the equivalent of twisting B.C.’s arm as it depends on energy imports from Alberta to keep its lights on.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.