Alberta’s energy industry is in a crisis. Our oil continues to sell at a discounted rate, limited pipeline capacity hinders oil from getting exported overseas and companies are producing more oil than what can be exported out of the province.
Companies like Cenovus Energy produce up to 300,000 barrels every day above what can be exported. That over production leads to a great price differential when compared with American oil, which can get exported to foreign markets. As of December 1, 2018, West Texas Intermediate Crude was selling for three times the price of Western Canadian Select. While the gap has lessened in 2019, it continues to sell for well above the price of Western Canadian Select. Our oil price discount costs the country about $80 million a day, or more than $20 billion a year. That dollar figure doesn’t show the amount of people who’ve lost their jobs as a result of this situation.
Aside from purchasing the $4.5 billion Trans Mountain Expansion Project pipeline, the federal government has done nothing to quell the crisis. Under this government, the Northern Gateway and Energy East pipelines have been cancelled. They’ve applied a tanker ban on the west coast that prevents Alberta oil from getting exported. They’ve applied a carbon tax that increases business costs. They’ve also passed Bill C-69, which is another blow to our energy sector. This bill, introduced by the Minister of the Environment, places even more stringent regulations on the energy industry and requires companies to apply Indigenous knowledge and consider the intersection of sex and gender when applying for regulatory permits.
Because of the cumulative actions of the provincial NDP and the federal Liberals, Canada has high taxes and a lot of red tape for businesses. Introducing more regulatory burden will shut out new investment and force businesses to lay off even more workers. The Prime Minister has publicly stated when travelling internationally that he would like to phase out the oil sands; Bill C-69 is how he’s going about it. He’s visited the Edmonton site of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project in the summer of 2019, though consultations about the project continue and construction did not begin in 2019 as promised.
I’ve spoken numerous times in the House of Commons about our energy industry, urging the government to abandon Bill C-69 and help workers who’ve been affected by the crisis. The Conservative Party of Canada has pledged to repeal this no-more-pipelines bill if elected in October.