B.C., Alberta in pipeline-electricity trading talks

Alberta premier Rachel Notley. Photo by Dave Cournoyer, Wikipedia creative commons

EDMONTON, A.B. — Rachel Notley, Alberta’s NDP Premier, is reportedly part of ongoing talks between her province and B.C. to swap pipelines for electricity.

According to the Globe and Mail, Alberta is looking for ways to cut back its greenhouse gas emissions and ‘B.C. has tried to sell its neighbour on the notion that buying clean electricity would be one way to do it.’

“It’s not that simple but I will say that we are engaged in multilateral talks where there are a lot of linkages in terms of how things might go forward,” she said about the deal.

“I think it’s fair to say that the government of B.C. understands that there wouldn’t be a market for their electricity if we’re not able to get something approaching a non-discounted price for the product that we ship.”

A spokesperson for Premier Christy Clark confirmed to the Globe and Mail that talks between the two provinces about energy are under way and agreed that optimism has sprouted out of Kinder Morgan pipeline project, in particular.

Notley has also reportedly changed her stance on the Northern Gateway pipeline, where she had previously been ‘unreservedly opposed’ to the $6.5-billion project.

Up until now, the Energy East pipeline to Canada’s East Coast had been seen as the province’s best hope of exporting oil.

In the interview, she said her time in office has been ‘an often bumpy ride,’ acknowledging a dire state of the economy as a leading cause.

The drop in revenues has also renewed talk of introducing a sales tax as a means of providing a reliable funding stream, as Alberta stands the only province in Canada without one. She said her government wouldn’t launch a tax during her first term, but Notley said the next three years could open the door to a discussion about it.

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