June 26, 2022

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney mentioned new Canadian pipeline development would ‘endlessly enable the US to free itself from imports from hostile regimes.’JASON FRANSON/The Canadian Press

Embattled Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is looking on American policy-makers to contemplate permitting development of a brand new pipeline that might ship heavy oil from the province to the US, as North America grapples with tight vitality provides within the aftermath of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Mr. Kenney made the plea on Tuesday in Washington, the place he was testifying earlier than the U.S. Senate Committee on Power and Pure Assets. The listening to was known as by Republican John Barrasso and chaired by Joe Manchin, a pro-fossil-fuels Democrat. Mr. Kenney made his remarks the day earlier than his United Conservative Celebration was set to disclose the outcomes of a management evaluate vote that may decide whether or not he stays as head of the occasion.

After Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. banned imports of Russian oil as a part of its ongoing sanctions towards Russian President Vladimir Putin. The U.S. sourced about 700,000 barrels of oil a day from Russia, which accounted for about 8 per cent of its vitality wants. After the ban, fuel costs spiked to a report excessive, they usually stay at elevated ranges.

Mr. Kenney mentioned new Canadian pipeline development would “endlessly enable the US to free itself from imports from hostile regimes.”

Washington has not at all times been open to Canadian pipeline proposals. Lower than 18 months in the past, U.S. President Joe Biden vetoed the Keystone XL pipeline over environmental issues about elevated oil-sands manufacturing. The multibillion-dollar undertaking would have transported oil from Alberta to refineries within the U.S.

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The choice value Alberta about $1.3-billion. Had Keystone gone forward, its projected capability of 830,000 barrels of oil a day would have greater than made up for the hole left by the ban on Russian imports.

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However regardless of the a lot tighter provide setting within the U.S., the possibilities of the Biden administration contemplating one other main Canadian pipeline undertaking seem slim. In an interview with The Globe and Mail earlier this week, Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Federal Minister of Pure Assets, mentioned Ottawa “has heard nothing from the Individuals that they’re truly fascinated by seeing a brand new oil pipeline.”

As Mr. Kenney pushed for a brand new pipeline, he additionally known as on the U.S. to simply accept extra of Alberta’s present heavy oil manufacturing, and urged Mr. Biden to neglect about partaking with OPEC nations.

“We discover it inexplicable that the President of the US has been extra centered on encouraging further OPEC manufacturing than Canadian manufacturing,” Mr. Kenney mentioned. “We’ve got no report of any effort by the administration to succeed in out to Alberta.”

Whereas America already imports 62 per cent of its oil from Alberta, Mr. Kenney mentioned Canadian producers have the potential to produce an extra 300,000 barrels a day and not using a new pipeline.

One purpose the U.S. seems to be shying away from further Canadian crude is that the oil has a big carbon footprint. Extracting bitumen requires large quantities of steam, making it vastly vitality intensive. Additionally, Alberta’s heavy reliance on fossil fuels to energy its electrical grid – reminiscent of pure fuel and, to a lesser extent, coal – makes its oil a harder promote on the environmental entrance.

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Janetta McKenzie, a senior analyst on the Pembina Institute, a Canadian assume tank, mentioned in an e-mail that elevated oil sands manufacturing and a brand new pipeline could be at odds with Canada’s dedication to scale back its carbon emissions.

Oil sands manufacturing and pipelines “take time to scale up and should function for many years to offer good funding returns,” she wrote. “The chance of those property turning into stranded, once they can’t adhere to altering local weather insurance policies throughout their a long time in operation, will increase the longer we delay deep decarbonization methods.”

Mr. Kenney additionally used his Senate testimony to name on the U.S. authorities to oppose Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s efforts to close down the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline over fears of a possible leak. The 69-year-old pipeline, which stretches for greater than 1,000 kilometres, transports round half 1,000,000 barrels of petroleum a day throughout the Nice Lakes by Wisconsin and Michigan to Ontario.

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