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When Alberta Premier Rachel Notley travels to Montreal, New York and Toronto next week to promote investment, she will discover that speaking from both sides of her mouth about her province’s energy sector doesn’t exactly instill confidence.
Sounding yet again like a cheerleader for opponents of Alberta’s energy industry, Notley, head of the left-leaning NDP government, reacted positively to U.S Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton’s surprise announcement that she’s opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta to the U.S. Gulf.
That’s right, speaking to reporters, Notley said she’d rather see more refining and upgrading in Alberta (which would have to be financially supported by her cash-strapped government because no one in the private sector wants to do it) than sending the province’s bitumen to refineries in the U.S. Gulf through a pipeline proposed by Calgary-based TransCanada Corp. and supported widely by the North American oil community.
“I do think we need to get our product to tidewater,” she said. “I’m just not convinced that getting our product down to the Gulf where there’s a whole bunch of cheap refining is absolutely the best strategy for an industry in Alberta when Albertans want to see focus more on upgrading and refining.”
In fact, Clinton’s about-face on KXL is more bad news for Alberta.
It puts the project on the shelf for a long time if she gets back to the White House and encourages anti-oilsands activism.
The Barack Obama administration is widely expected to deny a KXL permit, though the date keeps changing, apparently because he’ll have lots of explaining to do and wants to stay in control of the message. He’s now expected to make the announcement after the Canadian federal election Oct. 19 and before the UN climate change summit in Paris in early December.
For the rest of this column, click here: http://business.financialpost.com/news/energy/how-hillary-clinton-and-rachel-notley-are-bringing-more-bad-news-to-albertas-oilpatch?__lsa=f701-85ff