Alberta Premier Rachel Notley gave a speech in Ottawa Tuesday morning on the importance of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. She also provided an update on Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan.
The $7.4-billion Kinder Morgan Canada (TSX:KML) project is to expand an existing pipeline so Alberta can get a better price overseas for its oil.
Last year, the federal government approved an expansion of the pipeline that runs between Edmonton and Burnaby.
On Tuesday, Notley called on the federal government to “step up.”
“The efforts by local councils to frustrate the national government’s decision that was made in the national interest must be met head on,” Notley said.
“Now, more than ever, Canadians need our national government to articulate and defend the national interest.”
British Columbia’s governing NDP opposes the project. Burnaby officials have been accused of delaying the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion by dragging out permit approvals.
Notley called the National Energy Board’s decision to include downstream emissions in evaluating pipeline proposals “a historic overreach” and “something no other industry is subject to.”
“There is not a school, there is not a hospital, a road anywhere in this country that does not owe something to the strong energy industry in Alberta,” Notley said.
“To have a more stable and secure economic future we need to be able to sell that energy from that energy industry to more than just one client.”
WATCH BELOW: Alberta premier urges federal leaders to ‘step up’ on pipelines
The Alberta premier said it’s critical to get Canadian oil to other markets so the country can stop depending on the United States as the lone buyer who’s getting a discounted price.
“To be economically safer and more secure, to be more resilient in the face of the inevitable ups and downs of the energy market, we must develop new markets and new custumers, and to do this we need to build a Canadian pipeline to the ocean,” Notley said.
The best option is to go west so Canada has access to the Asia pacific market, the premier said.
“Being smarter about how we market our energy is just basic common sense, and those who argue otherwise, who claim that we can’t tackle climate change and support working people in the industry are, frankly, just playing politics.”
The expansion would nearly triple the amount of heavy crude flowing through it to almost 900,000 barrels a day.
Notley said not only do pipeline projects make economic sense, but environmental sense as well.
“Getting Canadian exports off the railroads and into modern, well-regulated, well-designed and closely supervised pipelines will be safer, will be more secure and will avoid future accidents like those we’ve seen in the recent past,” Notley said.
She also said Alberta’s environmental plan is the best in the country.
“Alberta has taken a very strong leadership position on these issues. I would argue that no one in Canada, frankly, can hold a candle on climate change action prevention at this point.”
Notley said Alberta will continue to fight for the project through the proper channels. She noted that such action is what got the project approved in the first place.
“Progressive minded Canadians, like all Canadians, care about jobs and working people in the country,” Notley said.
“You don’t support working people by attacking the hard working women and men in our energy industry and by attacking the good, mortgage paying energy jobs that they have.”
Alberta has joined Kinder Morgan in urging the National Energy Board to cut the red tape and get the permits approved.
— With files from The Canadian Press