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Monday , 28 September 2020

Copeland: Alberta Not Making Enough Noise Over Axed Keystone Pipeline

Mayor of Cold Lake, Craig Copeland says the news of the axed Keystone XL Pipeline project has not been given enough attention and he dreads where Alberta will be in two years if a pipeline to move Alberta crude out of the province is not in place.

Late last week the NDP government released its climate policy, which is moving towards filling in gaps of uncertainty in the Alberta economy states Copeland. “Oil industry has been waiting on a couple of these policies from the NDP government, we had the first one a week ago, Sunday. Companies up in our area, Imperial Oil, Crescent Oil, Canadian Natural, Cenovus, they all know what the carbon price is going to be for their business. That is know a known cost for them, for operating in 2016-17 and beyond.”

“Now we’re waiting on the Oil Royalty Revenue to release their recommendations,” Copeland says the uncertainty can be bad for business in the oil industry. It’s much better, good or bad news, to have news. “Once these two major policies are completed, we can move forward, we’ll know the landscape of doing business in Alberta.”Copeland says the oil industry has been hit with a lot this year, not only the global drop of oil prices but on the home-front with tax increases, “we already know corporate tax was increased by 20 percent, that’s huge in our area because the big oil companies and the service companies, related to the patch, any profits that they’re making are getting taxed at a higher percentage.”

That’s significant because there’s less money available for companies to invest to employ people – Craig Copeland Mayor of Cold Lake

 

 

Mayor Copeland says once the Oil Royalty Revenues are completed the government should focus its energy on moving product, “now get some pipelines out of Alberta,” states the Mayor. “We need to be watching the NDP government to see how they will be effectively getting pipelines out of Alberta. Our concern with the Liberal government is the comments they’ve made about the tankers out on the west coast. Is the Northern Gateway Pipeline dead in the water? and if so, where does the TransMountain Pipeline out of Vancouver fit in?”

It leaves the Energy East Pipeline as the big flagship for the NDP government, it seems like we’re going to put all our chips on that one. Across Canada it’s gotta go through a lot of provinces and we’re talking Ontario and Quebec, who haven’t really been warm & fuzzy on the pipelines – Craig Copeland Mayor of Cold Lake

“In my opinion Keystone was a no-brainer, the pipes out of Alberta go right to Hardisty already. For the Alberta economy, the Keystone, is still one of the most significant pipelines out there. It gets the oil right to Houston and New Orleans, to the refineries that want the heavy crude. That’s what our product is and they want our product. If they don’t get it from Canada, they don’t get it from Alberta, they’re going to get it from Venezuela, and other places,” states the Mayor.

I don’t understand why we’re not jumping up & down and telling the Americans to go pound sand – Craig Copeland Mayor of Cold Lake

With the Carbon Policy in place, Mayor Copeland believe this is the perfect opportunity for Alberta to re-open the Keystone discussion. “It’s too bad US politics got involved in a pipeline that’s much-much safer than rail.” The Mayor believes it is truly political wrangling, “we’re going to have to wait it out, once Obama’s gone and his whole giving into the environmentalists and the “Neil Youngs” of the world.”

We’ve been held hostage in Alberta to the environmental movement – Craig Copeland Mayor of Cold Lake

What’s ironic, says the Mayor is Alberta is world-wide top of the industry for safety and environmental policies. “People don’t understand that locally, up in our area, whether you go on-site with Osum, Imperial Oil, Canadian Natural, Cenovus, the standards that are put in place, that have been set over the years by Alberta Environment and the regulations that have been put into place by our oil companies, it’s the best in the world. Yet, we allow organizations to bully our industry and it’s because the government in our province hasn’t stood-up and said, ‘no,no, we’re the best.’ The government hasn’t turned it around and asked, ‘what are you doing in Montana? What are you doing in California? or North Dakota?’ We’re just too nice.”

With Alberta’s Climate Policy in place, the Mayor is hopeful it will improve Alberta’s standing with the environmental lobbyists. “It’ll be fascinating to see where we are in two years if we don’t have a pipeline. By 2017, if we don’t have at minimum one pipeline, we’re going to be in big trouble in the province.” The companies need to see growth in our area to continue to invest in Northern Alberta, states the Mayor, “they’re all sitting on reserves, are they going to invest in getting more reserves out of the ground? Or are they going to hunker-down? If production is at 100 thousand, are they going to just maintain production? Because if they are just maintaining, that’s not leading to more jobs and we’re not growing.”

If we’re not growing, our oilpatch is in big trouble & who would’ve thought of that 3 years ago – Craig Copeland Mayor of Cold Lake

Alberta’s Premiere, Rachel Notley, has publicly supported the Energy East and TransMountain pipeline, though has not publicly supported Keystone XL, Mayor Copeland feels this may have to do with it being a lost cause. “At the same time she’s come out with her Climate Policy and it looks like the Liberal government is pretty impressed by it, Al Gore of all people talked about it. So, the people who were the nay-sayers are jumping on it, so it’s having a positive effect.”

“Now, let’s go back, we still need pipes out of Alberta. The more straws the better, if we could go to both tide-lines out of Alberta, east coast – west coast, and down in the Gulf, this is how Alberta’s going to grow and prosper.”Mayor Copeland says he can predict 2016 is going to be a rough year by what he sees in his community, “the last several weeks, you can really feel that something is going on. 2016 is going to be a rough year.” What the Mayor fears will happen is companies will start to question why they are investing the province if the government, despite the changing policies to better reflect an environmental stance, can’t get pipelines in place. “Why would you invest in Alberta? That’s our concern on Council, big businesses coming to invest in Cold Lake – Bonnyville are going to want certainties.”

It’s a wait-and-see climate until the Oil Royalty Revenue comes in, explains the Mayor, “once that comes in then the companies will know what it’ll cost to do business in Alberta. From there, if there’s now pipelines and no rails, why would I invest if I can’t get my product to market?”

If we don’t get a pipeline out of Alberta by 2017, we’re in big trouble – Craig Copeland Mayor Cold Lake

 

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