MP Report — Setting the Record Straight on Pipelines
I don’t know about you, Alberta, but I’ve had it “up to here” with Liberals attacking our energy sector. Since 2015 they have gone out of their way to cancel already approved pipelines, put a tanker ban on the West coast (while conveniently ignoring the importation of foreign oil on east coast) and creating a regulatory quagmire that makes building a pipeline in this country next to impossible. This means billions of dollars in investment have been chased out of Canada and hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost.
“But the Conservatives under Harper never built a pipeline” is the cry offered by Liberals and those trying hard to defend them! Baloney!
The Libs have tried to sell this false bill of goods since 2016, and it didn’t stand up then, but since so many people like to continue to repeat this nonsense, I think it’s time to set the record straight on pipelines once again.
Fact: 4 major Pipelines Were Built in Canada between 2006 and 2015.
- Enbridge Alberta Clipper – 1607km. Applied 2007, approved 2008, built in 2010 and transports 450,000 barrels per day. (https://www.reuters.com/article/enbridge/update-1-enbridge-begins-construction-on-alberta-clipper-idUKN2746411720080827)
2. Trans Canada Keystone. 1247km (in Canada). Applied 2006, approved 2007, built 2010, and transports 435,000 barrels per day. (https://www.tcenergy.com/announcements/2010/2010-06-30keystone-pipeline-starts-deliveries-to-u.s.-midwest/)
3. Enbridge Line 9B Reversal. 639km (affected) Applied 2012, approved 2014, operational in 2015, and transports 300,000 barrels per day. (https://www.enbridge.com/ECRAI.aspx)
4. Kinder Morgan Anchor Loop. 160km. Approved in 2006, Built 2008, and transports 40,000 barrels per day. (https://www.jwnenergy.com/article/2017/8/17/kinder-morgan-marks-tenth-anniversary-last-trans-m/)
It is noteworthy that between the years of 2006-2011 Prime Minister Harper had two minority governments, which hampered the ability of the government of the day to change the laws and regulations that would streamline the large project application process.
After forming a majority government in 2011, former Finance Minister, the late Jim Flaherty, tabled Bill C-38, the Jobs, Growth and Prosperity Act, which among other things, created a predictable, thorough and streamlined approach to issuing certificates for major pipelines. It did not remove environmental regulations but instead, established time limits for regulatory reviews and created a predictable timeline for energy companies who wanted to invest in Canada. I was honoured to chair the sub-committee of Finance tasked to review Bill C-38, which was passed in 2012.
For the next three years of the Conservative majority mandate, and based on signals of support for the industry, Alberta jobs flourished, and we had near full-employment numbers through most of Prime Minister Harper’s tenure as Prime Minister.
In 2015 the Trudeau Liberals inherited billions of dollars in energy projects that were either fully approved or progressing well towards approval. Unfortunately, many of these projects were either killed by the Prime Minister directly or made unviable by the Liberal’s disastrous anti-energy policies and Bills like C-48 (Tanker Ban) and C-69 (No More Pipelines) that created economic uncertainty that caused investments to flee our country, along with good paying jobs:
Energy East – applied in August 2013, cancelled by then TransCanada in 2017, citing “existing and likely future delays resulting from the regulatory process, (more like heaping on red tape and environmental requirements that even imported oil doesn’t have to comply with) the associated cost implications and the increasingly challenging issues and obstacles.” Project Value – $15.7B https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/transcanada-energy-east-1.4338227
Northern Gateway – applied in May 2010, approved by the Conservative Government in June 2014. Despite support from industry and indigenous communities, Justin Trudeau made good on an election promise and cancels this pipeline in November 2016. Project value – $7B https://financialpost.com/commodities/energy/we-are-very-disappointed-loss-of-northern-gateway-devastating-for-many-first-nations-chiefs-say
Keystone XL – applied in June 2005, Canadian portion approved by the Conservative Government in 2007. The US portion of the project was rejected by President Obama in 2015, re-approved by President Trump in 2017 (which was reaffirmed in 2019)[RS(B-M1] and most recently cancelled by President Biden in January 2021. Despite billions of dollars invested by the province of Alberta on this project, Trudeau only indicated his disappointment in the decision. Project Value – $8B https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/statements/2021/01/20/statement-prime-minister-canada-united-states-decision-keystone-xl
Trans Mountain Pipeline – applied in 2013, this project was a privately funded venture with the support of no less than 12 energy companies. By 2018, after changing the rules for this project almost daily, the Liberal government was forced to purchase the old pipeline from Kinder Morgan at a cost of $4.5B, and is now on the hook for new construction with a Project Value – $12.5B (a $5.2B increase since 2013) https://www.reuters.com/article/us-canada-pipeline-transmountain-idUSKBN29T0BA
Today, the Liberal Government is facing new pipeline issues as Enbridge Line 5 could be shutdown by the Governor of Michigan – Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline carries Canadian oil east, running through Wisconsin and Michigan, supplying about half of the oil needs of Ontario and Quebec. In addition, the Enbridge Line 3 Replacement project is at risk as there are rising calls in the US to pull a water permit necessary for the project. To date, the Liberals remain silent on their plans to deal with these pressing matters.
It is worth mentioning that unemployment rates in Alberta from 2005 – 2015 averaged 2% lower than the rest of Canada. Since December 2015, the first full month the Liberals formed government, unemployment rates in Alberta rose to and have remained higher than the national average. (https://economicdashboard.alberta.ca/Unemployment#interprovincial)
So, let’s set the record straight. Conservatives build pipelines, cut red tape, create jobs and the entire nation prospers. Liberals cancel lucrative energy projects, create unemployment, foment uncertainty and only create a toxic investment climate. The only thing more damaging to the economy of Alberta than a Liberal government is a Trudeau Liberal government.
Thankfully Erin O’Toole has a plan to get the liberals out of office and get Albertans and all Canadians back to work.
We will highlight the excellent environmental record of our energy sector, which is improving every day. I expect the NDP and Greens to twist the facts against Alberta energy, but Liberals ought to have learned long ago the risk of messing with the Alberta energy sector, not furthering the misinformation of the Greens and NDP.