New law would allow Alberta to restrict flow of oil and gas

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The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) says Saskatchewan is second to Alberta in the amount of oil produced among Canadian provinces, accounting for 13 per cent of production.

Eby said he believed the Alberta legislation was meant to never be adopted, but if Alberta Premier Rachel Notley's government does pass the law, then B.C. will immediately launch court action.

Currently, Alberta ships 44,000 barrels of gasoline and diesel to B.C. through the Trans Mountain pipeline every day, a little more than half of the total 80,000 bpd of refined products shipped to B.C.

Asked about whether or not the law he's expected to introduce "within days" would be in violation of the law, Moe said the province had a legal opinion and "holding up the construction of this pipeline, it's in violation of the law".

Kinder Morgan is currenly working on a pipeline between Alberta and British Columbia.

"One thing they really haven't explained to us - why are they so insistent that this pipeline be put through B.C. when we had the pipeline east ready to go, they could pump it north or they could pump it south?" he said.

It would direct pipeline companies, truckers and rail operators on how much oil product they ship and when.

Eby said the B.C. government is expecting to announce shortly that it has filed a reference case to the courts to determine if it has jurisdiction over the pipeline in the province.

Premier Scott Moe says Saskatchewan will join Alberta in a fight with B.C. over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion by introducing its own legislation on oil exports. Slamming it into effect depends on what happens at the May 31 deadline Kinder Morgan has set for a clear green light from B.C. on the project.

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Gasoline prices in Metro Vancouver are now hovering around $1.55 a litre.

Kinder Morgan said last week it was stopping on non-essential spending on its proposed Trans Mountain expansion until it has regulatory certainty. The government will listen to the industry and work with it to ensure that there are "no surprises", she said. The Alberta and federal governments dispute the BC claim.

"We did not start this fight, but let there be no doubt we will do whatever it takes to build this pipeline", said Notley.

She said Section 92 of the Constitution gives provinces power over their natural resources.

Ervin said cutting off light oil supplies through Trans Mountain would hurt Alberta-based Parkland Fuels Corp., which bought the 55,000-barrel-per-day Burnaby refinery previous year and has enjoyed good margins thanks to its access to low-priced Alberta feedstock.

"Saskatchewan at this point in time is not looking at investing in this pipeline", Moe said.

Imperial Oil Ltd. spokesman Jon Harding said Tuesday the Calgary-based company, which ships refined products on Trans Mountain, "understands the rationale" for Bill 12 and will comply if it's passed but hopes a solution can be found that negates the need for its use.

"We're going to be studying the bill very carefully to make sure this is not a bill that is created to punish British Columbians as it was advertised in the lead-up to its introduction to the House because such a bill would obviously be illegal and unconstitutional and we would take every step available to British Columbia to reign in that illegal and unconstitutional conduct", said B.C. Attorney General David Eby.

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