Alberta’s Opposition leader and premier candidate Jason Kenney came out yesterday to say that Alberta’s government would make sure that British Columbia suffered “serious consequences” if it successfully blocks the XL pipeline or the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
They would do this by stopping permits for all shipments of Alberta oil to British Columbia through the current Trans Mountain line. The current line pumps about 300,000 barrels of gasoline and oil a day to Vancouver.
During a press conference on Monday, he said “If British Columbia is unwilling to help us export Canadian energy, then I would ask: Why should the NDP government benefit from shipments from Alberta? People are already paying $1.50 a liter for their gas here. Thousands of British Columbia drivers are going down to Bellingham and Washington state to fill up their gas tanks. That situation, unfortunately, would get a whole lot worse without Alberta oil.”
Throwing Down the Gauntlet
Although he said he has been contacted by some Alberta oil companies who don’t like the idea, he said that he has to do “whatever it takes to make sure that British Columbia Premier John Horgan’s NDP government does not try to block the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion”.
Kenny said that he is also considering tolling British Columbia’s natural gas shipments that come through Alberta. “I don’t want a trade war. Albertans want free trade. But if the NDP in Victoria breaks the law, and blocks the export of our major product, we have to respond.” His final statement to John Horgan took some by surprise but shows the attitude that many of his supporters have come to love. “My message to John Horgan is: I may very well be sitting across the table from you in 14 months. And if you’re unable to come to an understanding with your fellow New Democrat Rachel Notley, just wait until you’re sitting across the table from me.”