Alberta passes bill to restrict the flow of oil and gas to B.C.

Alberta’s New Democratic Party government passed a bill Wednesday that it says will give the province new powers to restrict the flow of energy resources to British Columbia.

Bill 12 — the Preserving Canada’s Economic Prosperity Act — authorizes the government to issue licences for any company exporting energy products from Alberta. The province can use this as a tool to identify companies shipping products to British Columbia, including natural gas, crude oil and refined fuels such as gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.

The energy ministry is being asked to issue these licences in the public interest to see whether there is a significant return for the province. Companies that do not comply with the terms of their licence could face fines of up to $10 million per day. Individuals could face fines of up to $1 million per day.

If necessary, this would allow the province to “turn off the taps,” said Alberta Premier Rachel Notley on Wednesday.

“Albertans have the right to choose how our energy is shipped, so that Alberta gets the best return possible,” she said. “Bill 12 gives us that power.”

With that authority, the province could place restrictions on pipelines as well as transport via rail or truck.

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