Saskatchewan joins Alberta in Trans Mountain fight

Don't look to us for help if the fuel tanks go empty, the premier in Saskatchewan said to his counterpart in British Columbia.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  April 18, 2018 at 8:33 AM
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April 18 (UPI) -- If fuel tanks in British Columbia run dry because of export restrictions from Alberta, it won't be able to look for help from Saskatchewan, the premier said.

Legislation proposed by the provincial government in Alberta could block exports of oil, natural gas or fuels to its neighbors. Alberta Premier Rachel Notely said the proposal was necessary because of restrictions put in place in British Columbia, which has voiced steady opposition to the expansion of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline.

Notely met during the weekend with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and British Columbia Premier John Horgan to discuss the project. Through his Twitter account, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said Horgan's administration has shown willingness only to stand in the way since that meeting.

"In the coming days, we'll be introducing legislation to join Alberta in restricting oil exports to British Columbia," he tweeted. "If fuel tanks in British Columbia start to run dry because Alberta has turned the taps off, it won't be Saskatchewan filling them up."

Horgan has been relatively quiet on Trans Mountain since the weekend meetings. His administration in January considered new regulations on bitumen, a heavier type of oil found in Canada. Included among the proposals was a restriction on transportation until the government determined what would happen if there was a spill of the thicker type of oil.

After spending more than $850 million since it petitioned federal regulators for the project, pipeline company Kinder Morgan last week said that opposition to its plans to triple the design capacity for its Trans Mountain network to the western coast of Canada exposed its shareholders to undue risk. That opposition, the company added, has led to increased provincial tensions.

Alberta's government estimated that pipeline projects like Trans Mountain could stimulate economic growth by as much as 2 percent by 2023. Notely said not moving ahead with the project was costing the Canadian economy around $30 million every day, adding her administration was in discussions to set up a financial mechanism to reduce the risk for Kinder Morgan.

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