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Alberta’s New Pro-Oil Premier Is On A Collision Course With Trudeau

Alberta’s incoming premier Danielle Smith pledged to work for a prosperous oil-rich province without asking the federal government for permission to produce and export energy.

The new premier, who was elected to lead Alberta’s ruling United Conservative Party (UCP), told party members on Thursday, “Today marks a new beginning in the Alberta story.”

“Today we start putting Alberta First!!!” Smith tweeted on Friday. Her campaign has focused on an ‘Alberta First’ slogan and against the outreach of the federal government. The new premier could put Alberta on a collision course with Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a vocal supporter of the fight against climate change and plans to reduce emissions.

“No longer will Alberta ask permission from Ottawa to be prosperous and free ... we will not have our resources landlocked or our energy phased out of existence by a virtue-signalling prime minister,” Smith said at a meeting of the UCP party, as carried by Reuters.

Alberta, Canada’s oil-rich province, has been looking to boost the production of oil and gas, while Canada’s federal government has adopted in recent years legislation aiming to reduce emissions and make Canada a net-zero economy by 2050.

So far this year, Alberta’s oil production and economy have benefited from the high oil and gas prices, but the province still wants additional export outlets for its hydrocarbon resources, most of which have been stymied at the federal level or by other provinces.

Crude oil production in Alberta reached a record high in the first half of the year at 3.6 million barrels per day (bpd), which was 100,000 bpd higher than the average output for the first half of 2021. In terms of oil and gas income, higher oil and gas prices are expected to lead to a surplus of some $9.6 billion (C$13.2 billion) for Alberta this fiscal year.   

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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