Federal government must uphold law and address B.C.’s restrictions on Trans Mountain expansion, PSAC says

PSAC president and CEO Mark Salkeld. Source: Pipeline News

Voicing its disappointment with the B.C. government’s recent proposal to place regulatory restrictions on increased diluted bitumen transportation through the province, the Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC) said today that the federal government must uphold the rule of law.

“Over two years, stringent research and studies were conducted by the National Energy Board, the Canadian Energy Assessment Agency and the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office for the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline,” PSAC stated. “The result of this rigorous process was to approve the expansion of Trans Mountain and to declare it to be in the national interest by the Government of Canada.”

Further proposed study and regulations by the B.C. government can only be viewed as yet another tactic to deny to land-locked provinces, vital access to tidewater that B.C. freely enjoys and all while pursuing export opportunities for its own petroleum products, the industry services group stated.

“This is not the time for inter-provincial trade wars as we pursue free trade agreements with the U.S. and Asian countries,” said Mark Salkeld, president and CEO of PSAC. “Now is the time for the Government of Canada to uphold Canadian rule of law and our constitution.”

He added: “Investment capital is already fleeing Canada due to competitive concerns. Lack of certainty for major project development and infrastructure will not help but only serve to drive away even more potential investment and with it Canadian jobs and economic prosperity.”

The oil and natural gas industry is the leading contributor of private capital investment in this country supporting over 640,000 jobs across the country and thousands of businesses, including over 700 in B.C., PSAC stated. The industry’s responsible development of natural resources also provides the funds for technical innovation, research and development and clean-tech to improve environmental performance and reduce GHG emissions.

“Canada is already losing billions of dollars a year having only the U.S. as its one customer for oil and natural gas negatively affecting job creation and funding for health care and education while the U.S. moves to become a leading exporter, reaping benefits that could be ours,” PSAC stated.