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Alberta unveils bill that could wreak havoc on B.C. gas prices in trade war

Alberta unveils bill that could wreak havoc on B.C. gas prices in trade war
From CBC - April 16, 2018

Alberta's minister of energy will have sweeping discretionary powers to limit exports of crude, natural gas and gasoline to B.C. under much-anticipated legislation introduced Monday.

Bill 12, titled Preserving Canada's Economic Prosperity Act, gives the Alberta government the ability to retaliate against the B.C. government for any delays to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, by driving up gas prices or slapping restrictions on shipments of other energy products.

"We are very committed to putting pressure on B.C. to come around and focus on what this pipeline actually means," Premier Rachel Notley said.

The majority of gasoline and aviation fuel used in B.C. is shipped from Alberta through the existing Trans Mountain pipeline.

Limiting exports could create shortages in B.C., forcing it to look elsewhere for gasoline. Alberta could also divert crude oil shipments to rail and truck, in order to free up pipeline space for bitumen.

All these measures could amount to driving up prices at the pump, which could create political problems for B.C. Premier John Horgan.

Notley said delays to the proposed pipeline project will cost Canada an estimated $40 million a day in lost revenue.

$10M daily fine

The bill will give Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd power to issue licences for the export of crude oil, natural gas and refined products like gasoline and aviation fuel.

The licences can set limits on where product goes and on how much can be exported over a defined period of time. The minister can determine how product is exported, through pipeline, rail or truck.

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