RED DEER, AB — Premier Rachel Notley brought a message of hope regarding the province’s energy future to local business leaders at a Red Deer Chamber of Commerce Luncheon at the Black Knight Inn on Monday.
Canada’s Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr announced on May 29 that the Government of Canada reached an agreement with Kinder Morgan to purchase the company’s Trans Mountain Expansion Project and related pipeline and terminal assets for $4.5 billion.
In addition, federal loan guarantees aim to ensure that the pipeline expansion begins immediately and continues through the 2018 season in hopes of eliminating uncertainty for families relying on its construction and for potential investors and future prospective owners.
Notley told Monday’s audience of 175 chamber members that Alberta’s support hinged on conditions of construction going ahead immediately, financial certainty to the project and the province getting full value for any investment it makes (to a maximum of $2 billion).
“That investment only becomes payable once those shiny new taps are turned on and the oil begins to flow,” said Notley. “At that point, as we pay it, our investment is converted to equity, maximizing the return for Albertans.
“This deal and this pipeline will create good jobs. This deal and this pipeline will unlock investment in our oil sands and energy sector,” she added. “This deal and this pipeline puts us on the path to getting full value for our energy resources. This deal and this pipeline also means that we can and must be leaders in protecting the environment.”
She says the big problem has always been that Canada’s energy infrastructure is built to export only to the United States.
“They are a monopoly buyer and as a result, we sell to them as you all know at a huge discount, it was $25 a barrel last Friday when I checked or something around that,” says Notley. “Every single day that goes by without the Trans Mountain expansion means more revenue evaporates from Alberta and reappears south of our border. How much? About $40 million a day according to recent studies.”
Notley went on to say that economists with Scotia Bank estimate that the failure of Canada to build new pipelines means missing out on over $15 billion in economic activity per year.
“Canada’s failure to build Canadian pipelines to the Canadian coast means that instead of revenue going to us, revenue from our resources, resources that are the natural inheritance of each and every one of you, that revenue is going to the U.S.,” she stated, “which is especially hard to swallow these days after their recent attack on our steel and aluminum industries and the many, many, many workers that they support.”
Notley concluded her remarks by saying the Trans Mountain Pipeline will keep Albertans and Canadians working.
“It will support tens of thousands of jobs, it will provide billions of dollars in benefits and economic activity and it will show the world that when Canada makes a decision, we will stand behind it.”
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