COVID-19 Updates: Protecting Albertans from the Omicron variant.
The newly sworn-in government’s first order of business, as promised, was proclaiming Preserving Canada’s Economic Prosperity Act, which gives Alberta powers to restrict the export of natural gas, crude oil and refined fuels across its borders to ensure maximum value of these resources for Albertans and to help manage the lack of pipeline capacity.
“Alberta is serious about sending a message to those who wage a campaign of obstruction against our vital resources. We want to work with other jurisdictions, like British Columbia, to find areas of common ground, but everybody should be aware that we will use every option available to defend Alberta, our economy, our resources and our people. While the proclamation does not constitute an immediate reduction of shipments, it shows we mean business when protecting Canada’s economic interests.”
If used, this legislation would require any company exporting petroleum products from Alberta to acquire a licence to do so, and would impose fines of up to $10 million per day for contravening the act.
“This is not a mechanism to punish others. It’s a tool to protect Alberta. Alberta’s prosperity fuels Canada’s prosperity. It’s in every province and territory’s interest that we get these products to market. Without proper access to world markets and prices, Canada continues to lose billions of dollars.”
Diluted bitumen accounts for the majority of Alberta’s oil exports. In 2017, Alberta produced 1.6 million barrels a day of diluted bitumen and a further one million barrels a day of synthetic crude oil refined from oil sands production. Diluted bitumen continues to be discounted on price due to a lack of pipeline capacity and access to global markets. By increasing the amount of pipeline capacity for diluted bitumen, Alberta can help increase the price it will gain, resulting in more revenue for industry and government.