The Public Accounts Committee met Monday to review their financial risk on the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Vermilion-Lloydminster-Wainwright MLA Garth Rowswell said, “The NDP has been pressuring us to expose what our financial risk is, since the cancellation of KXL from the US president. We spent $1.5 billion equity investment in preferential shares (one of the safer credit ones), and about $6 billion as a loan guarantee as well.”
He said they are examining how much risk they have because there are currently 21 state governors suing the American Federal Government for this issue.
“This is a commitment that the president made and was under construction before another one cancelled it. I know it’s pretty slim, but we haven’t given up on getting it built,” said Rowswell.
The UCP previously voted down a bill in January but are in favour of having the energy ministry department release a report, he’s just unsure when that will happen.
“We have supporters down there for sure but the question is how much will we lose? You should be able to get an indication of where we are at,” said Rowswell.
“There is financial risk and it’s important to see.”
At a Vermilion & District Chamber of Commerce Business Connect meeting, Rowswell was asked what the government is preparing to do next to bring Alberta oil to tidewater. His response was that they will continue to advocate.
“We’re bringing in oil from other countries – it just doesn’t make sense,” said Rowswell.
“We’ve been beat up to a point, and we need pipelines to ramp up. Other than that the Trans Mountain should be going, Northern Gateway or Energy East would be nice, but we need help from the Federal Government to remove some of the restrictions and get more companies.”
In the meantime, he said they may be depending on the railroad for shipments.
As for all types of energy, Rowswell said “Energy should be reliable, scalable and as affordable as possible – it’s essential, you need energy.”
When working with the energy caucus he said they have met with all sorts of people, including representatives from geothermal, solar, small modular reactors, a side rehabilitation program, and the oil industry working on a master plan to clean up sites for abandoned wells.
“As a result I have plans to build a matrix for all energy sources, comparing what their environmental footprints are, etc. It’s a big job but the chair is on board,” said Rowswell.