Dear Prime Minister:
I am writing in follow up to our meeting of February 7th, during which we discussed the need for the Government of Canada to halt introduction of the proposed Just Transition legislation and implementation of unachievable targets and measures under the federal Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP) such as the Clean Electricity Regulations (CER) and oil and gas sector emissions cap.
As a much more productive alternative, I invited your government to agree to commencing a collaborative effort between Ottawa and Alberta to develop a series of cooperative initiatives to attract investment and workers into Alberta’s emerging, conventional and non-conventional energy sectors while substantially reducing Canada’s and Alberta’s net emissions.
In that meeting, you expressed a willingness to pursue this course of collaborative action, but requested it be commenced promptly. The morning following my return to Alberta, I met with several of my ministers regarding this issue and can advise as follows.
The Government of Alberta is prepared to work with the federal government on a coordinated approach for a carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) incentive program for the purpose of net emissions reductions in our province while attracting billions in new investments for Alberta-based oil and gas projects, electricity, manufacturing and other sectors.
To this end, we propose coordinating a federal CCUS income tax credit with an expansion of our current Alberta Petrochemicals Incentive Program (APIP) to include CCUS projects. This new incentive program would be in addition to the over $1.8 billion already invested into CCUS projects across the province by the Government of Alberta as well as our province’s additional implicit contribution to CCUS made through our current royalty regime.
Our government is also willing to discuss with your government expanding this coordinated approach to incentivizing other emerging emission reducing technologies as well, though we suggest beginning with agreement on a coordinated CCUS incentive program, so we are able to establish a successful foundation on which to build upon.
To this end, I request that we immediately create a federal/provincial minister-led working group with the objective of reaching agreement on a coordinated provincial-federal CCUS incentive program in the coming weeks.
Prime Minister, I must make it clear that the above invitation for cooperation and collaboration on this CCUS proposal and other energy and climate initiatives comes with one non-negotiable condition.
It is that the federal government refrain from introducing any new federal legislation or policies that materially impact Alberta’s oil and gas resource development, management or workforce participation without the full involvement, consultation and consent of Alberta.
This includes the contemplated Just Transition legislation and implementation of unachievable targets and measures under the federal Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP) such as the Clean Electricity Regulations (CER) and oil and gas sector emissions cap.
Each of these initiatives, as currently understood, would pose an unconstitutional and existential threat to the Alberta economy and the jobs of hundreds of thousands of Albertans.
As an alternative to this policy package of economic destruction, Alberta proposes working collaboratively with the federal government on aggressively advancing emission reducing technologies in Alberta as outlined above while simultaneously increasing export of LNG through the lens of replacing higher emitting fuels around the world to meet aggressive but achievable overall emissions reduction in Alberta’s oil and gas and other sectors. Ideally, our government would like to incorporate these collaborative federal-provincial initiatives into our soon-to-be-released Alberta Emissions Reduction and Energy Development Plan.
I must once again emphasize to you, Prime Minister, that although Alberta is willing to work as an active partner with the federal government on a coordinated approach to reducing Alberta’s and Canada’s net emissions, under no circumstances will our province accept the imposition of arbitrary and unachievable targets or policies that spell the end of meaningful long-term investment in Alberta’s energy sector, and as a result, the imminent phase out of Alberta’s largest industry. In such circumstances, our government would have no other choice but to oppose these destructive policies using every tool at our disposal in order to protect Albertans, their jobs and our province’s future.
Prime Minister, this issue is far larger and more important than you or I. There are literally hundreds of billions in public revenues and investments, and millions of jobs, riding on Alberta and Ottawa working together – instead of in conflict – on energy and environmental issues to create an attractive and certain investment climate that millions around the world want to invest in and move to.
Failure to do so will not only undermine Canada’s prosperity by driving billions in energy investment and revenue out of Canada and into the hands of the world’s most brutal and undemocratic regimes, but will also result in increased energy poverty and food insecurity in many of the world’s most impoverished countries, a loss of our nation’s global influence, and most ironically, an increase in the world’s global emissions due to an increased use of coal, as opposed to LNG, by developing nations to meet increasing world demand for electricity.
Canada has the potential to become a global energy superpower with all of the economic and political influence for good that such standing would grant us. We can and must seize this opportunity without delay. Please come to the table and work collaboratively with Alberta on likely the most important economic issue facing this country in a generation.
I look forward to reading your response and to learning of the appointment of your government’s side of the federal/provincial minister-led working group for the CCUS incentive program so that our two governments can take our first steps in this critical collaborative effort.