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Alberta proposes oil and gas export restrictions

The Alberta government has introduced a new law that would restrict the flow of oil and gas. Bill 12 proposes giving Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd the power to tell companies how much can be moved by pipeline, rail, or truck, and when.

The move is the latest in the battle with British Columbia over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Dunvegan – Central Peace – Notley MLA McCuaig-Boyd says the legislation is meant to protect “the economic wellbeing of all Canadians.”

“Every day, we’re leaving money on the table due to the lack of pipeline capacity and that needs to stop. We’ve put a lot of thought into what we’re introducing today.”

If passed, any company exporting energy products would have to get a licence, but only if the minister finds it necessary. Any corporation violating their licence could be fined up to $10 million per day, and $1 million a day for individuals.

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An estimated 80,000 barrels of refined fuels go to B.C. a day. Premier Rachel Notley says the legislation would be there if needed, but she’s confident the government won’t have to use it.

“If what we are seeing is that by May 31st there is huge investor uncertainty created by the fact that there is not a future expectation of significantly increased pipeline capacity, then that might be the point at which we’re going to have to be a lot more strategic around what products get shipped to what markets by what means.”

May 31st is the deadline given by Kinder Morgan to feel assured that its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will be built. Notley met with B.C. Premier John Horgan and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Sunday in Ottawa, and Trudeau has since asked Finance Minister Bill Morneau to reach a financial deal with the company.

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