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Alberta’s “Turn Off The Taps” Bill, also known as Bill 12 and the Preserving Canada’s Economic Prosperity Act, has been dealt a blow in court on Tuesday in what is the latest development in the spat between oil-rich Alberta and neighboring British Columbia, Reuters reported.
The bill gave Alberta the power to restrict oil and gas flows to British Columbia in retaliation for BC’s lack of support for the Trans Mountain pipeline, although Alberta has never exercised its option to restrict the oil flows.
But a court granted British Columbia a temporary injunction against the bill on the grounds that the bill, if acted upon, would cause harm to its residents. Alberta’s argument in the case was that this harm was speculative.
Alberta and British Columbia have yet to see eye to eye over the Trans Mountain expansion project, a pipeline that would allow more oil to flow from oil-rich Alberta to the coast of BC. Indigenous groups and the Canadian federal government too have gotten in on the action, each with its own agenda.
Trans Mountain was purchased by the federal government with an idea of moving the project along after years of delays, although little has been done to push forward with the project. But despite the opposition of BC and several indigenous groups, a recent survey by Angus Reid Forum showed that 53% of respondents wanted the project to move forward, while just 24% want the word to stop. In Alberta, the number of pro-Trans Mountainers is 85%. Quebec offered the least amount of support for the pipeline, although a separate poll showed that Quebeckers prefer to buy Canadian energy as opposed to importing it from outside Canada.
Canada’s lack of oil pipelines resulted in a painful widening of the spread between WTI and WCS. Alberta issued a series of mandatory production cut measures for its oil producers to pull prices back up, which has met with reasonable success.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.