Alberta premier threatens to cut oil supply to B.C. in retaliation for Kinder Morgan


WATCH: Drivers in the Greater Victoria area are currently paying the second highest gas prices in Canada. But if you think that is bad, imagine if Alberta turns off the oil tap. That is just what Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is threatening to do. Mary Griffin reports.

The price of gas sits at about $1.41 a litre at most stations in Greater Victoria. But that could change if Alberta’s Premier Rachel Notley has her way.

“If it becomes clear, that any province, particularly B.C., if their efforts are to, in fact, harass investors, launch frivolous lawsuits, or wage a war of attrition against the pipeline, Alberta must have the ability to respond,” Notley said Thursday.  She is threatening to block the shipment of oil to B.C. It’s in response to B.C.’s efforts to stop the planned Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion.

“There is no question that the Lower Mainland of BC, in particular, struggles with high gas prices, and that they have a very high sensitivity to supply changes there,” Notley said.

It’s reminiscent of 1980 when then Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed fought Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s national energy program by passing a regulation to restrict the amount of oil and gas leaving Alberta by 15 per cent.

“We’ve decided at the legislature that we should reduce the rate at which we’re producing our oil,” Lougheed said at the time.

Fast forward 38 years and BC’s Environment Minister George Heyman doesn’t believe Alberta will go that far. ”

“We’ve tried to be the adults in the room here. We would expect Alberta to settle the dispute on an area that they thought was unlawful in the courts where it belongs. That’s why we’ve referred it to the courts,” Heyman said.

But if Alberta does squeeze the supply, it will hurt according, to petroleum analyst Dan McTeague from GasBuddy.

“Likely, best case scenario, 25 cents a litre,” McTeague said about a possible increase.

“Worst case, as much as 50 or 60 cents a litre.”

Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver says the B.C. government is doing the right thing.

“British Columbia has a right, and a duty, and responsibility to protect its citizens,” Weaver said.

“And I believe it’s doing just that.”

Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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