The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion announcement sure caught some by surprise.
I got emails asking, “Bob, what changed? Was there a B.C. court ruling we didn’t hear about? Is there nothing else waiting to stop the pipeline? Is it a new enthusiastic minister of resources or political posturing?”
The president and CEO of Trans Mountain, Ian Anderson, says the company made some changes reflecting local interests. Among other things, it has more support from indigenous communities.
It still expects activist protests but it has a standing injunction in B.C. it can use.
It sounds good, but the TMX alone won’t save Alberta.
Even if we complete the TMX, if there are to be no more pipelines, it’s like Ottawa is telling us that while we’re allowed to eat only one potato chip, the rest of the bag stays in the cupboard.
With all the uncertainty, more and more Alberta oil workers and companies are moving to Texas where their expertise is welcomed.
In the ’90s, we joked about the so-called Alberta Advantage: Low taxes and high services floating on a sea of oil and gas revenues.
If something else doesn’t come along, today’s Alberta Advantage will be that from Edmonton or Calgary, you can get a non-stop flight to Houston.
Let me know what you think.