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"Albertans still need the federal government to step up and support the industry while we are trying to get through this ridiculousness of having not enough capacity to get our oil and gas to market," Alberta’s Premier, Rachel Notley, told media, in the latest sign of the growing exasperation in Canada’s oil province regarding the only oil pipeline the federal government of Justin Trudeau has approved since it came into office.
The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, however, ran into serious difficulties as environmentalists and the new British Columbian government, which came into power in 2017, firmly opposed it and continue to oppose it, turning to the courts to delay the project’s final approval.
Last year, the federal government bought the project from Kinder Morgan, which made it clear it was unwilling to wait around forever until all regulatory and legal hurdles were cleared in the absence of certainty this would ever happen. Canada’s parliament was outraged by the US$4.5-billion move even though Trudeau’s cabinet has shown its support for Trans Mountain on numerous occasions. This, however, has not been enough.
The latest episode in the saga concerns a project review that the National Energy Board needs to complete and submit to the Federal Appeals Court of Canada by February 22. The review was prompted by an Appeals Court decision to cancel NEB’s approval of the Trans Mountain expansion on the grounds of insufficient consultations with First Nations.
In the meantime, Albertan companies are producing oil that is being stored because all pipelines are full and so are trains. As a temporary measure, Notley announced late last year Alberta will buy additional oil train capacity of 120,000 bpd, acknowledging this would not solve the pipeline capacity problem.
However, Notley is not blaming it all on Trudeau’s government. "The facts of the matter is that the previous government, which happened to be from a different political party, also didn't get it done," the Albertan Premier said.
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.
Obama cancels Kxl. Not a word.
A little late Rach.