British Columbia’s government has thrown a new roadblock in front of Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd.’s planned $7.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion with proposed oil-spill regulations designed to block the shipment of increased volumes of oil sands crude through the province.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, who has argued Ottawa has constitutional jurisdiction over interprovincial pipelines, immediately denounced the B.C. move as “illegal and unconstitutional.”
Her spokeswoman, Cheryl Oates, said on Tuesday B.C.’s regulations are still in draft form, but if they proceed, Alberta “would likely take some action against them.” She would not specify what that action could entail, but the Premier indicated the proposed regulations would violate internal trade agreements and federal law.
B.C. Environment Minister George Heyman announced on Tuesday the government will appoint an advisory panel to determine whether diluted bitumen can be effectively cleaned up after being spilled in water.
Until that panel reports, the government will impose a regulation prohibiting any expansion – either by pipeline or rail – of oil sands diluted bitumen through the province.