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Alberta Energy Minister: Turning Off Oil Taps To B.C. Is No Bluff

Trans Mountain

The bitter dispute between Alberta and British Columbia over the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion project is heating up ahead of the May 31 deadline given by Kinder Morgan for the provinces to sort out their differences, and Alberta’s energy minister has assured that the threat to turn off oil shipments to B.C. is no bluff.

“This isn’t just talk. B.C. keeps throwing up roadblocks in front of us. This isn’t a bluff. We’re absolutely prepared to use it, should we need to use it,” Marg McCuaig-Boyd, the energy minister of Alberta, said, as quoted by Toronto Sun.

Two months ago, Alberta’s Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell said that all options for retaliation against B.C.’s opposition to the Trans Mountain expansion are on the table, including cutting off crude oil shipments.

Tired of the delays and of being caught in between two provinces, Kinder Morgan a month ago said that it would suspend its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project entirely if the legal issues surrounding it cannot be resolved by May 31.

Following Kinder Morgan’s announcement, Alberta’s Premier Rachel Notley said:

“First, 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. Second, Premier Horgan believes he can harass the investors and managers of Kinder Morgan, that they will give up, and that this will kill this project. He is wrong here as well.”

Related: Can China Meet Its Nuclear Power Goals?

Referring to the threat to suspend oil shipments to B.C., Alberta’s energy minister McCuaig-Boyd said, as carried by Toronto Sun:

“There’s no timeline. If we need to use it, we’ll use it sooner. We’re not messing around.”

In its latest attempt to fight the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, British Columbia is asking the B.C. Court of Appeal if the province has the right to require the companies willing to carry heavy oil through B.C. to get permits from the province.

If the B.C. Court of Appeal grants the provincial government the powers to regulate oil flows through its territory, then Alberta would by analogy gain the same right, which would end up as a problem for B.C., said Alberta’s Premier Rachel Notley said in response to the B.C. move.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • Tom Blazek on May 03 2018 said:
    Seems like OPEC tried a similar move like this back in the 1970 and it didn't work out so well.
  • Ethanol User on May 02 2018 said:
    British Columbia could extend its gasoline supplies by upping its ethanol blend rate in gasoline from its current 5% to 15%. The 15% blend is working great in the US Midwest. More Octane at a lower price, with lower tailpipe emissions. Win, Win and Win again!

    American Ethanol
  • Tom on May 02 2018 said:
    I don't understand the Canada "Oil Wars," and I don't understands API's "Ethanol Wars."

    The Heavy Oil - US Refineries on the US Gulf Coast would probably love greater access to Canada's heavy oil.

    So Alberta, Talk to API about cutting a deal with Nebraska and South Dakota Farmers on their Ethanol, and build the Yukon XL Pipeline.

    That's a Win-Win for everyone!

    The trouble is, there are no adults in the room anywhere!
  • Lynn G Wilbur on May 01 2018 said:
    What we do know so far, which is not even mentioned is that we have now entered the Anthropocene era entirely by our own doing and it may now be irreversible. As heart-wrenching as it is, we are witnessing the initial death throes of The Oil Sands and the fossil fuel industry in general. On the bright side, there is a renewable energy revolution that is rising like The Phoenix In Greek mythology.......a long-lived bird that cyclically regenerates or is otherwise born again. Associated with the Sun, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor. The ominous problem of The Anthropocene is upon us and it is further degraded by pumping more oil. Canada as the 2nd largest geographical country on our Planet now has a gigantic moral and ethical responsibility.

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