October 3, 2016 1:53 pm
Updated: October 3, 2016 8:28 pm

Alberta government will not support federal climate change plan without pipeline approval

WATCH ABOVE: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley turned some heads Monday when she refused to back the federal Liberal plan to impose a price on carbon. She says she's not opposed to the idea, but to get her support, Ottawa needs to play ball. Tom Vernon explains.

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Premier Rachel Notley said her NDP government will not support the federal government’s climate change plan without serious progress on pipeline approval.

The statement from Notley came Monday morning, shortly after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the federal Liberal government will establish a “floor price” on carbon pollution of $10 a tonne in 2018, rising to $50 a tonne by 2022.

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“Provinces and territories will have a choice in how they implement this pricing,” he said. “They can put a direct price on carbon pollution, or they can adopt a cap-and-trade system, with the expectation that it be stringent enough to meet or exceed the federal benchmark.”

READ MORE: Trudeau says Liberals willing to impose carbon price on provinces

Notley said the Alberta government supports the idea of all provinces and territories doing their fair share to tackle climate change but stressed that revenues from Alberta’s climate change plan will stay in the province.

“With regard to the federal government’s proposals today, Alberta will not be supporting this proposal absent serious concurrent progress on energy infrastructure, to ensure we have the economic means to fund these policies,” Notley said.

“It is time for the Government of Canada to act on this issue. Albertans have contributed very generously for many years to national initiatives designed to help other regions address economic challenges. What we are asking for now is that our landlock be broken, in one direction or another, so that we can get back on our feet.”

READ MORE: Alberta brings in carbon levy legislation, estimates higher cost to families

Watch below: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says the province will not support Ottawa’s climate change plan unless the federal government makes progress on new oil pipelines to Canada’s coasts. Notley spoke about the topic Monday morning at the Alberta legislature. 

Mike Hudema with Greenpeace Canada slammed Notley’s comments, saying the Alberta government “needs to realize that new pipelines aren’t compatible with a climate safe future and there’s no climate leadership to be found in building one.

“It’s incredible that the Alberta government would withhold its support for an action to combat climate change until it gets a new pipeline that further accelerates the problem,” Hudema said in a statement.

“Rather then (sic) pushing to deepen the problem, the government should be focusing on clean energy solutions that get us out of them and create thousands of jobs in the process.”

READ MORE: Pipelines vs. the environment: weighing greenhouse gas emissions against the economy

Alberta’s carbon levy comes into place on Jan. 1, 2017 and will be applied to fuels – such as diesel, gasoline, natural gas and propane – at the rate of $20 per tonne. One year later, the tax will go up to $30 per tonne.

Alberta’s carbon levy will tax home and business heat bills, along with gas at the pumps.

READ MORE: Brad Wall calls Liberal carbon price disrespectful

The province says low and middle-income earners, representing 60 per cent of Alberta households, will get a rebate next year while another six per cent will get a partial rebate. The rates and rebates will rise again in 2018.

Anyone earning more than $51,250 a year or a couple with two children making over $101,500 a year are not entitled to any rebate.

With files from The Canadian Press. 

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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