After the Alberta government introduced legislation yesterday which gives the province “the power it needs” to restrict the export of natural gas, crude oil, and refined fuels across its borders, BC Attorney General David Eby has entered the pipeline fight by threatening legal action against Alberta in response.
In a statement to Daily Hive, Eby called the new Alberta bill “unconstitutional and unlawful.”
The “sole purpose” of the proposed law, he added, is “retaliation” against BC.
The bill “serves a political purpose only, and even the Alberta government has acknowledged they don’t want to use it,” said Eby.
However, “if at any time Alberta decided to take the unlikely, and highly reckless step of engaging in unconstitutional and unlawful acts to harm British Columbia’s interests, we would immediately seek an injunction in court to stop them.”
If passed, the new legislation in Alberta will give the government authority to require any company exporting energy products from the province to obtain a licence.
This licence would be issued by the minister of energy if it is determined to be in the public interest, including whether adequate pipeline capacity exists to maximize the return on these resources produced in Alberta.
Products would include natural gas, crude oil, and refined fuels, such as gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. Export restrictions could also be imposed on pipelines, as well as transport via rail or trucks.
Companies would not be automatically required to apply for an export licence and would only be directed to do so if the minister deemed it necessary.
On Monday, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said her government’s measures are about “protecting the jobs and livelihoods of thousands of Albertans and our ability to keep Canada working.”
Alberta, she added, “did not start this fight, but let there be no doubt we will do whatever it takes to build this pipeline and get top dollar in return for the oil and gas products that are owned by all Albertans.”