British Columbians worried about Alberta’s tough petroleum export law, introduced Monday, can feel some momentary relief.

May 31 is now the informal trigger date for using the new powers to cut fuel exports to the Lower Mainland.

That would only happen if Kinder Morgan walks away from the TransMountain project, and Ottawa or B.C. haven’t reached a deal to take control.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is waiting to see if expected federal legislation, combined with the Kinder Morgan equity negotiations, brings a quick start to full pipeline construction.

But there’s a big “if” for the next six weeks.

Alberta officials warn that if B.C. takes the smallest new hostile step against the project – some little regulation or an inventive court play – the taps would close at once.

“This is a very volatile file and things tend to happen,” says Cheryl Oates, Notley’s communications aide.

“If B.C. were to initiate hostile action that we hadn’t anticipated, before that deadline, the law would be ready to go. And we would use it.”

B.C. Premier John Horgan would have to be demented to escalate further in these circumstances.

He went to Sunday’s Ottawa meeting with Notley and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offering no compromise plans or ideas, just his intractable opposition.

After failing to take any responsibility for a solution, new local obstructionism would make Horgan look terrible to much of the country, and highly dubious to British Columbians suddenly scrambling for fuel.

Notley made a telling point when she talked about the new bill, called the “Preserving Canada’s Economic Prosperity Act.”

She said there’s a shortage of pipeline capacity for diluted bitumen; that’s what the pipeline expansion is all about.

In order to ship more, the province might use Bill 12 to fill the current multi-product pipeline entirely with bitumen.

That would force gasoline and diesel fuel into trucks and rail tank cars, …read more

Source:: Calgary Herald


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